China has announced plans to increase gold output by 5 per cent a year over the next five years. Total output over the period 2001-05 would be 1,000 tonnes, said the State Economic and Trade Commission. The country produced 143.5 tonnes of the metal in the first 10 months of 2001, 4.4 per cent higher than in the same period of 2000. Demand for gold is growing in China's jewellery and industrial sectors, and total consumption in 2000 was 207.5 tonnes.
A new exchange to trade gold was formally opened in Shanghai in November, the Financial Times reported. However, trading on the exchange was only simulated in order to test its computer systems. Proper trading is expected to start early in 2002. The exchange will end the state monopoly on buying and selling gold, which has been handled by the People's Bank of China.