U.S. gold bullion exports to Asia started with a bang in 2017, as the majority of the total shipped in January went to Hong Kong. Not only did the U.S. export most of its gold bullion to Hong Kong, but it was also the highest monthly amount in quite some time.
Gold Bullion Exports
Looking back at the data for the past two years, Hong Kong’s highest monthly amount of gold bullion imported from the United States was less than half of what was shipped in January. According to the USGS, the U.S. exported 31.6 metric tons (mt) of gold bullion to Hong Kong, 82% of the total 38.1 mt shipped in January:
The four other countries that received the remaining lion’s share were China (2 mt), India (1.6 mt), Singapore (1 mt), and Switzerland (1 mt). If we assume that most of the gold bullion exported to Hong Kong made its way into China, then if we add the other 2 mt that China received, the total gold bullion shipped to China was more like 33.6 mt.
Either way, the overwhelming majority of U.S. gold bullion exports in January went to Asian countries and India (35.2 mt). Switzerland only received 1 mt of gold bullion from the United States. However, Switzerland also received 14.3 mt of gold dore bars and precipitates from the U.S. The majority of this amount likely came from domestic U.S. gold producers.
Regardless, to see Hong Kong receive 82% of the United States finished gold bullion bars in January, is quite impressive, to say the least. If we convert that from metric tons, it comes out to be a little more than a million oz. This is a great deal of gold because the United States domestic gold miners only produced 18.7 mt of gold (601,000 oz).
Furthermore, the U.S. total gold imports in January (bullion, dore bar & precipitates) were 18.9 mt. Thus, the total domestic mine supply plus imports equaled 37.6 mt. The U.S. exported 84% of its total gold mine and import supply to Hong Kong. If we include the total amount of gold that the U.S. exported in January of 55.4 mt (bullion, dore bars & precipitates), the U.S. exported nearly 18 mt more gold than they produced and imported.
Of course, the majority of U.S. gold continues to head EAST. This is a bad sign as the Federal Reserve and U.S. Govt continue to prop the domestic economy and financial system with Debt and Derivatives. Sure, China is also added a lot of debt, but they are also acquiring one hell of a lot of gold. When the overdue financial crash happens, and the dust settles, China and Russia will be holding onto a lot of physical gold while the WEST will be holding onto a lot of worthless paper.
I tried to do research on why Hong Kong imported so much gold from the U.S. in January, but nothing stuck out. It wasn’t due to lower prices as the gold price increased from $1,160 to $1,220 in January. So, the Chinese were not taking advantage of lower prices.
It will be interesting to see how much more gold flows to the EAST this year as the U.S. economy and financial system begin to disintegrate. While the Dow Jones Index could continue to move higher on more HYPE and HOT AIR, its valuations are extremely overvalued… so is the S & P 500.
About the Author:
Independent researcher Steve St. Angelo started to invest in precious metals in 2002. In 2008, he began researching areas of the gold and silver market that the majority of the precious metal analyst community has left unexplored. These areas include how energy and the falling EROI – Energy Returned On Invested – stand to impact the mining industry, precious metals, paper assets, and the overall economy.