Gold’s Journey From West to East.
Gold is Revered and Accumulated in the East.
The Shanghai Gold Exchange Continues to Deliver Massive Amounts of Gold.
Russian, Indian and Chinese Gold Consumption Remains High.
United States and Canadian Mint Gold Sales Fall.
We have long noted the movement of the world’s gold from west to east – here and here. We have also covered the ongoing gold repatriation craze of foreign central banks looking to bring their gold held at the New York Federal Reserve back to their home vaults.
In “the Importance of Gold to Nations and Individuals” we noted that the west not only has little interest in gold, it is indeed hostile towards it. The Fed never mentions it and the recent Save Our Swiss Gold initiative highlighted that central banks, the too big to fail banks and their media cronies will go out of their way to trash it.
Asian gold reserves have increased from less than ten percent of total global reserves in 1994 to nearly 25% in 2014.
Eastern gold reserves continue to increase as a portion of overall gold reserves. (chart does not include updated Chinese gold reserve amounts)
Here is an overview of the continuing trend of gold moving from west to east:
China and Gold
China is the world’s largest gold producer, consumer and importer. It also has one of the world’s largest gold exchanges, the Shanghai Gold Exchange.
The Shanghai Gold Exchange delivered 38.353 tons of gold during the last full week of April. The total gold withdrawals on the Shanghai Gold Exchange year to date are about 820 tons.
Volume of Gold Delivered on the Shanghai Gold Exchange
The Shanghai Gold Exchange has delivered over 820 tons of gold in 2015 and nearly 9,000 tons since 2009.
The Shanghai Gold Exchange continues to establish itself as viable competitor to the gold trading centers in London and Chicago and is one of the cornerstones of China’s de-dollarization/Yuan strengthening initiatives that also includes selling U.S. Treasuries and the creation of the Asian Infrastrucure Investment Bank.
China is widely believed to be making a play for inclusion in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) Program later this year. If China fails to gain inclusion in the SDR, its recent initiatives to strengthen its currency and gain greater acceptance of the Yuan may provide a strong alternative to the IMF regime.
Chinese Gold Mining
China produces more gold than any country in the world and what gets mined in China stays in China.
China is the world’s largest gold producer with mining production over 400 tons a year.
Chinese Gold Imports
In addition to producing the most gold, China also imports the most gold in the world.
For more on China and Gold, click here.
India and Gold
India has a long standing love affair with gold. It is from time to time either the number one or number two gold consumer in the world, often changing places with China. Unlike China, India has little domestic gold mining production and relies primarily on imports for its gold.
Indian Gold Imports
Despite hefty tariffs in recent years, Indian gold imports remained elevated.
Indian Gold Reserves
Indian gold reserves have steadily increased over the past ten years.
In addition to increased Indian central bank gold holdings, it was recently reported that Indian citizens own 20,000 tons of gold.
For more on India and Gold, click here.
Switzerland and Gold
Switzerland is the hub for much of the transfer of gold from west to east as some of the world’s largest gold refineries are there.
Gold Imports to Switzerland
Gold is imported from the west -primarily from England (which doesn’t produce gold) and the United States to Switzerland…
The United Kingdom and the United States provided Switzerland with the largest volume of gold in March 2015.
Gold Exports From Switzerland
…Gold leaves Switzerland to the East- to China, India, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Swiss gold exports March headed mainly east in March 2015.
Russia and Gold
Russia has been boosting its gold reserves for the past few years. In March, Russia added one million ounces of gold to its reserves.
Here is a chart that shows the increase in Russian Gold Reserves since 1994.
Russia added one million ounces of gold to its reserved in March 2015.
For more on Russia and Gold, click here.
United States Mint Gold Sales
While silver retail sales have hit record amounts the past few years at the U.S. Mint, gold sales at the U.S. Mint have tailed off.
U.S. Mint Sales of American Gold Eagle Coins
The U.S. Mint has sold just 122,500 one ounce American Gold Eagles through April 2015.
Canadian Mint Sales Gold Sales
Retail sales of gold at the Canadian Mint have also fallen since gold hit its peak in 2011.
Sales of Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins decreased in 2014.
*sales of gold at the U.S. and Canadian Mint may be to entities outside those countries, including those in the east.