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Bullion reached a record $1,921.15

Bullion reached a record $1,921.15 an ounce on Sept. 6  2011 and has been profitable to export even after shipping fees because of “the capacities and cost competitiveness of overseas smelters,” took Iwanaga. “Countries that are buying up gold are places where real interest rates are negative,” said Itsuo Toshima, an independent analyst who has researched global markets including gold for about 30 years and was formerly the Japan director of the World Gold Council.

In China, the biggest gold-jewelry consumer, inflation is eroding the value of bank deposits, prompting investors to seek returns in bullion. Gold makes up 1.6 percent of China’s foreign-currency reserves, compared with the 11 percent world average, Nicholas Brooks of ETF Securities said Dec. 2.