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U.S. Gold Exports to London Surge

As U.S. gold exports to Hong Kong and China fell 25% in the first four months of the year, London picked up the slack. According to the USGS, U.S. gold exports to London surged more than doubled from January to April, compared to the same period last year. Interestingly, the amount of gold exported to London during this period nearly equaled the total U.S. domestic gold mine supply.

From the data reported in the USGS Gold Mineral Industry Survey’s, U.S. gold exports to the U.K. (London) jumped to 64.3 metric tons (mt) Jan-Apr, versus 25.5 mt during the first four months last year:

Total U.S. Gold Exports to the U.K.

Here is the breakdown of U.S. gold exports to London for each month:

Jan = 12.2 mt

Feb = 12.1 mt

Mar = 21.2 mt

Apr = 18.8 mt

Total 64.3 mt

As I have mentioned, a lot London’s gold is exported to China and Switzerland. And then, the majority of Switzerland’s gold is exported to Hong Kong and China. For example, according to the statistics on GoldChartsrus, in March, the U.K. exported 16 mt of gold to China and 32 mt of gold to Switzerland. In the very same month, Switzerland exported 80 mt of gold to Hong Kong and China. So, most of the west’s gold still ends up in Hong Kong and China.

Here are the top three countries that received gold exports from the United States Jan-Apr 2017 versus 2018:

U.S. Gold Exports to U.K., Hong Kong-China, & Switzerland January - April 2017

From Jan-Apr 2017, the United Kingdom received 25.5 mt of gold from the U.S., compared to 69 mt shipped to Hong Kong and China and 48.3 mt sent to Switzerland. Now during the same period this year, U.S. gold exports to the U.K. jumped to 64.3 mt while Hong Kong and China fell to 50.5 mt and Switzerland declined to 40 mt:

U.S. Gold Exports to U.K., Hong Kong-China, & Switzerland January - April 2018

Even though U.S. gold imports increased to the U.K and fell to Hong Kong-China and Switzerland, total exports to these three countries increased by 12 mt Jan-Apr 2018. Furthermore, as U.S. gold exports increased, gold imports declined nearly 17 mt during the same period. So, the United States continues to export more gold than it imports and produces from its domestic mines.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, U.S. gold exports to London Jan-Apr equaled nearly all U.S. gold mine supply:

U.S. Gold Exports to U.K. vs U.S. Gold Production January - April 2018

The 64.3 mt of gold exported to London, U.K. equaled 93% of total U.S. gold mine supply. Thus, the U.S. exported nearly 40 mt more gold than it produced and imported from Jan-Apr 2018.

Lastly, total U.S. gold exports declined to a low of 393 mt in 2016 compared to a high of 695 mt in 2013 when the gold price fell sharply. However, the U.S. is on track to export over 500 mt of gold this year, the most since 2014.

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