gold1Net purchases climbed to 64.1 metric tons from 42.9 tons in February and 61.8 tons a year earlier, according to data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department compiled by Bloomberg. The mainland bought nearly 76.3 tons compared with 55.1 tons a month earlier, while exports to Hong Kong were 12.1 tons from 12.2 tons. Mainland China doesn’t publish the data.

China’s gold consumption has been expanding as rising incomes and economic growth boost purchases of jewelry, bars and coins. The central bank has also been adding to its bullion holdings every month in a move to diversify its foreign-exchange reserves. While gold has been one of the best-performing assets this year on haven demand, prices fell 0.5 percent in March, trimming their advance in the first quarter to 16 percent. Read more