Nov 20 (Reuters) - China, set to pass India this year as the world's top gold consumer, has imported nearly a fifth more bullion than data from its traditional conduit Hong Kong shows as it brings in the metal via other routes.
Gold shipped from Hong Kong to the mainland, used as a proxy for Chinese demand as bullion imports are a state secret, nearly tripled to 855 tonnes in the year to September.
But a surge in China's gold purchases as prices slumped by a quarter this year has also seen at least 133 tonnes shipped directly, according to Reuters calculations based on data from Global Trade Information Services (GTIS).
That figure could be even higher as it does not include central bank purchases. ...