How Large Was The U.S. Gold Market Trade Deficit In Q1 2015??

While the global financial system remained subdued in the first quarter of 2015, the U.S. Gold Market still suffered a large trade deficit.  Matter-a-fact, the U.S. Gold Market deficit in 2015 may surpass its full-year shortfall in 2014 by a wide margin.  Furthermore, with the heightened financial turmoil stemming from the Greek situation in Europe during the summer, I would imagine U.S. gold deficits may be even higher in the second and third quarter.

Before we look at the data for the first quarter of 2015, let’s take a peak at the U.S. gold supply and demand situation for the full-year 2014:

U.S. GOld Supply vs Demand Full Year 2014

Last year, the U.S. imported a total of 308 metric tons (mt) of gold, had domestic mine supply of 212 mt and scrap of 90 mt (my estimates based on GFMS 2014 World Gold Survey).  Thus, total U.S. gold supply was 610 mt.  Now, on the demand side of the equation, the U.S. exported 500 mt of gold and consumed a total of 179 mt in jewelry and coin-bar investment.  Hence, total U.S. gold demand in 2014 was 679 mt.

Apply simple math, the U.S. gold market suffered a 69 mt (2.2 million oz) deficit in 2014. However, I believe the deficit was probably larger.  Why?  The World Gold Council Demand Trend Report may be understating physical gold investment demand.

For example, The World Gold Council stated that U.S. physical gold investment in 2014 (bar & coin) was only 46.7 mt (1.5 million oz) while gold jewelry demand was 132.4 mt (4.2 million oz).  I believe there was more than 46.7 mt of physical gold investment in 2014.  Unfortunately, many private minted gold bars are not accounted for in the World Gold Council estimate.

Regardless, the U.S. suffered a gold market trade deficit in 2014, and 2015 looks like it will be even larger.  According to the recent data put out by the USGS Gold Mineral Industry Surveys and the World Gold Council Q1 2015 Demand Trend Report, the U.S. suffered a 24.1 mt deficit during the first quarter of the year:

U.S. Gold Supply vs Demand Q1 2015

U.S. gold imports during Q1 2015 were 61.5 mt, mine supply was 47.7 mt and estimated scrap came in at 22 mt for a total of 131.3 mt of total supply.  On the other hand, U.S. gold exports reached 123 mt in the first three months of the year while consumption accounted for 32.3 mt. Thus, total U.S. gold demand was 155.3 mt leaving a deficit of 24.1 mt for Q1 2015.

Where did the U.S. export all this gold?  Switzerland received the most (46.5 mt), followed by Hong Kong (28.2 mt), the U.K. (19.6 mt), India (14.1 mt), the U.A.E. (5.7 mt), Thailand (3.9 mt), Singapore (2.4 mt) and other countries (2.6 mt) for a total of 123 mt during Q1 2015:

U.S. Gold Exports Q1 2015 Breakdown

The top four (Switzerland, Hong Kong, U.K. & India) received 108.4 mt–88% of the total.  It will be interesting to see the data for June and July as the financial situation in Europe due to a possible Greek default sparked investors to purchase a record amount of Gold Eagles.  I would imagine U.S. gold exports will likely increase significantly during these two months as well.  This should make the U.S. Gold Market deficit larger in Q2 and possibly Q3.

I will provide updates when the information and data is released.

If you haven’t checked on THE SILVER CHART REPORT, there’s a great deal of information on the Silver Industry & Market not found in any single publication on the internet. There is one chart in this report (Chart #19) that I can guarantee that 99.9% of precious metal investors haven’t seen before.

SIlver Chart Cover Graphic 3D shadowMost analysts focus on a certain area or sector of the silver market. However, the information in this report illuminates a holistic view of many sectors of the silver industry, capturing the relationships that connect many parts of the market.

One of the important aspects of my work is to look at many industries and markets from a bird’s-eye view.  From this perspective, we can see how industries and markets impact each other to a much larger degree than by just focusing on individual sectors.

 CLICK HERE:   For The Silver Chart Report

I use this bird’s-eye approach when I create my easy to understand charts. The Silver Chart Report is a collection of my top silver charts from articles published over the past six years, and includes in-depth, never-before-seen charts and content that indicate that silver is on the rise. There are 48 charts in the report, broken down in five sections.

Please check back for new articles and updates at the SRSrocco Report.  You can also follow us at Twitter, Facebook and Youtube below:

Enter your email address to receive updates each time we publish new content.

I hope that you find SRSroccoReport.com useful. Please, consider contributing to help the site remain public. All donations are processed 100% securely by PayPal. Thank you, Steve

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Bron Suchecki
Guest

Would the exports to the Swiss be dore for refining, considering how many refineries they have?

The exports to HK are likely kilobars ex-comex (see http://goldchat.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/the-story-behind-jpms-10-tonne-gold.html for an example of JPM using comex as a temporary warehouse for kilobars). Would be interesting to see if there is any correlation between US exports to HK/Sing/India and kilobar movements from comex. It may also have something to do with the new CME HK contract, ie moving stock into HK warehouses to meet deliveries for that contract.

Bill Essex
Guest
Bill Essex

I’m not clear from the above stats and graphics where gold repatriation from the US to Germany and other countries fit in – any thoughts?

Mark
Guest
Mark

Steve,

Would it be safe to assume that Swiss gold imports are en route to China? Possibly as well with others in the “top 4” too. As Asia accumulates metal we also have the continued nonsense ensuing at the Comex for open interest on PM’s. I came across the latest story on this and must have a lot to do with encouraging other nations to take our gold exports. As of today the sale continues as PM’s drop despite all the chaos in recent weeks.

http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/comex-paper-precious-metals-open-interest-is-going-parabolic/

OutLookingIn
Guest
OutLookingIn

Steve, of the 17.3 mt of dore bars exported to Switzerland during Q1, is there a way to ascertain if these dore bars were refined and then poured into kilo bars? Since kilo bars are the preferred refined gold bullion measure in China, versus good for delivery LBMA bars. Also would be interesting to know if the remaining 29.2 mt of the 46.5 mt total, were kilo bars or LBMA bars? In addition, what form of bullion went to India and the UK, since most UK gold export ends up going to Switzerland. The reasoning being, that if these measures… Read more »

David
Guest
David

Steve,

Have you ever seen data that shows how gold is ever recovered as a byproduct of any other mining, like primary silver mines, or other metals?

James M.
Guest
James M.

Are you the David who said on June 21st, 2015 at 2:42 pm at this site that:
“I’ll bet silver that the cost of silver on the COMEX NEVER drops a dollar from where it is now. I’ll also bet my geology degree on it, and I do know a few things about real-world supply.”

that was when Silver was $16.20… but is now $14.66.

Did you return your degree?

Silvrwillwin
Guest
Silvrwillwin

It is really becoming quite obvious that overall economics are becoming paralyzed by what’s known as analysis paralysis. Steve , this is no fault of your own. It’s baked into the cake as part of a grand scheme to help initiate utter boredom regarding the masses. The real mission to all of this incredibly long hold out is in the success of accomplishing the take from every possible source.for how ever long it is tolerated. What appears to be amazing is that physical gold and silver holders , (especially P.silver holders) don’t collectively begin raising prices to a fairer level.… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Hey Steve – thanks for the continued info…and in an attempt to create a red thread through the disparate corners of economy and finance, I thought I’d offer what is happening in the US Treasury market in 2015. Apparently, the buyers who bought 80%-90% of all the US Treasury debt have net sold $150 billion so far this year (through latest available data in May). Nothing of this sort has happened this millennia and only leaves one source…the US domestic public who is supposedly doing buying all the new issuance and scooping up reduced holdings of foreigners and Intra-Governmental holdings.… Read more »

RD
Guest
RD

Chinese PBOC increased by a paltry 600 tons their reserves so it looks that they do not intend to break the comex cartel any time soon (so not before several years).

silverfreaky
Guest
silverfreaky

I believe it was the most worse investment i ever did.When you have lost 50-70% of your money you must ask yourself what is more painful?

I don’t believe anymore the story of a crashing currency.All stupid storys from the PM-Lobby.
We have burned a lot of money that is the truth, because we listened to morons like maloney,butler,Silberjunge(germany),….

PM are not the investment that helps you in times of crises.Exactly the opposite is the case.
Anybody can see this.

Silvrwillwin
Guest
Silvrwillwin

” PM are not the investment that helps you in times of crises.Exactly the opposite is the case. ”
And that is just what “they” want you to believe .

silverfreaky
Guest
silverfreaky

And that is just what i see!

Silvrwillwin
Guest
Silvrwillwin

believe

James Cougan
Guest
James Cougan

Everybody knows PM are for the long run but you…

David
Guest
David

“PM are not the investment that helps you in times of crises”

No crisis yet; too early to tell. No empirical or anecdotal evidence. Only emotional frustrations.

Markus
Guest
Markus

Just dropping in to say: COT is clearly bullish right now.

A while ago, when silver was at 17,5 and gold at 1200+, COT was very bearish. And it has been like that for years or decades. The COT just (almost) ALWAYS works as an indicator of future price movement.

RD
Guest
RD

Have you a link for such analysis ?

thanks

David
Guest
David

“Just dropping in to say: COT is clearly bullish right now.”

Yes you are right. I’ve seen the data. But that doesn’t mean the commercials won’t step in front of the next rally. That’s what they do and have done. They got drop-dead serious about it since the 2011 run up. I suspect they will stop any and all rallies until their ability to do so no longer exists.

Connie
Guest
Connie

There’s no way gold gets any lower than this…

RD
Guest
RD

Wrong as soon as this morning.

RD
Guest
RD

Wrong a second time !

silverfreaky
Guest
silverfreaky

The silver bug chart is always bullish.No news!
But the reality is what counts.Not your dreams.

silverfreaky
Guest
silverfreaky

Total crash now.HUI.The great silver bubble bursts.No end in sight.HUI again 4% down.
This insvestment unbelievable.

RD
Guest
RD

HUI still too high, at around 110, we would be closer of a support, 130 is certainly much too high imo

silverfreaky
Guest
silverfreaky

NYSE ARCA GOLD BUGS INDEX (^HUI) -NYSE
128,56 – 7,00(5,17%) 22:03

RD
Guest
RD

A 10%/15% down today would have been better to clean the situation

RD
Guest
RD

Damned, HUI only 6% down at around 120.

We need another 10% haircut shortly.