China's gold output jumped 11.34% to a record of 313.98 t in 2009, the China Gold Association has announced. "Gold output reached above 300 tonnes for the first time," the association said, adding that China maintained its position as the world's top gold producer for the third straight year in 2009.
According to Reuters, China had more than 700 gold producers in 2009, down from more than 1,200 firms in 2002 as the industry consolidated. Nearly 60% of China's gold output in 2009 came from the top five producing provinces -- Shandong, Henan, Jiangxi, Fujian and Yunnan.
The CGA gave no figures for last year's consumption, but China consumed 395.6 t of gold in 2008.
China said last April its official gold holdings had risen to 1,054 t from 600 t in 2003, with the increase attributed to purchases of domestically produced gold to help soak up unsold output.