China's net gold imports via Hong Kong jumped nearly 60% in September to their highest level in five months, data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department showed on Tuesday.
Net gold imports via Hong Kong to China, the world's top consumer, stood at 34.786 tonnes in September compared with 21.804 tonnes in August, the data showed.
Total gold imports via Hong Kong rose to 41.877 tonnes from 24.549 tonnes.
Lower gold prices in the international market as well as in local currency has attracted some more gold buying, said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann. "Even in China, inflation is picking and that is also behind higher gold buying."
Concerns over the wider impact of the debt crisis at property developer China Evergrande also drove investors towards gold.
In China, premiums rose to $12 per ounce in September, over global benchmark prices. Spot gold fell 3% last month.
China held 62.64 million fine troy ounces of gold at the end of September, data from the central bank's State Administration of Foreign Exchange showed.
The Hong Kong data may not provide a complete picture of Chinese purchases because gold is also imported via Shanghai and Beijing.
(Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and John Stonestreet$) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; Within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, Outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6131; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))