China’s gold output hit a record high of 276 tons in 2007, which took it to top spot in the global rankings, the Financial Times reported. GFMS, the London-based precious metal consultancy, said the country’s gold production rose by 12%, pushing South Africa into second place. China, already the world’s leading producer of aluminum, zinc and lead, and ranked number two for tin and in the top 10 for copper, nickel and silver, has seen its gold output jump 70% in the last decade. This is a result of Beijing’s efforts to source more raw materials domestically so it can reduce its exposure to the costly commodity imports market. Bullion prices hit an all-time high of US$914 a troy ounce this week as investors ditched the weakening US dollar.