In Shanghai, gold was trading as much as $25 an ounce above international gold prices, the highest since December 2016. That compared to the $8-$16 recorded last week.
The high premiums have been predisposed by the lockdown in Shenzhen over COVID flare-ups, as well as by no news of import quotas being issued that could affect industrial activities, said Bernard Sin, regional director for Greater China at MKS PAMP.
The People’s Bank of China controls how much gold enters China through quotas to commercial banks.
“There is less interest from the customers…so in the Shanghai Stock Exchange, trading is very thin, but the premium is very high,” said Peter Fung, head of trading, Wing Fung Precious Metals.
In Hong Kong, gold sold between flat premiums and $2 premiums.
In India, gold sales premiums made a comeback this week as a sharp correction in local prices boosted retail demand.
“Demand has improved this week due to the fall in prices. Traders have started to quote premiums as imports have fallen in recent weeks,” said Ashok Jain, owner of Mumbai-based wholesaler Chenaji Narsinghji.
Premiums of up to $2 an ounce over official domestic prices – including the 15% import and 3% sales duties – were charged, while a discount of $7 was charged the previous week.
Some jewelers bought gold for the upcoming holiday season, but many are still waiting for a further fall in prices, said a Mumbai trader at a private bank that imports gold.
In Singapore gold traders charged $1.50-$2.30 more than spot prices, unchanged from recent weeks, while in Japan bullion sold between equal to spot prices up to a premium of $0.50.