How Much & Where Did The U.S. Export Most Of Its Gold Since 2011??

Since 2011, The United States exported the majority of its gold to only four countries.  In the past five years, the U.S. exported a total of 1,961 metric tons (mt) of gold to these four countries which accounted for 68% of the total 2,876 mt.


As we can see in the chart, the top four received 1,961 mt or 63 million oz (Moz), of the total 2,876 mt (92.4 Moz).  That’s a lot of gold. How much gold is this?  Well, if we go by the official estimates of Central Bank gold reserves, it’s quite a lot:

Official Gold Reserves Q4 2015

United States = 8,133 mt

Germany = 3,381 mt

U.S. Gold Exports 2011-2015 = 2,876 mt

IMF = 2,814 mt

Italy = 2,452 mt

France = 2,436 mt

China = 1,762 mt

Russia = 1,393 mt

Switzerland = 1,040 mt

The United States exported more gold in the past five years to rank it third in the official gold Central Bank holdings.  While there is no way of knowing if some of these Central Banks hold all the gold they report or if others hold a great deal more than they report, this comparison shows just how much gold the U.S. exported from 2011 to 2015.

So, where did the majority of this gold go?  Since 2011, these four countries received the lion’s share of U.S. gold exports:


Hong Kong  & China received the most at 738 mt (23.7 Moz), followed by Switzerland at 588 mt (18.9 Moz), the U.K. at 503 mt (16.2 Moz) and lastly India at 132 mt (4.2 Moz).  Furthermore, I would imagine the majority of U.S. gold exported to Switzerland and the U.K. were probably recasted into kilogram bars and shipped to the East.

This reminds me when Lyndon Johnson signed the Coinage Act in 1965.  Once the Coinage Act went into force, the public removed the majority of silver coinage from circulation in a very short period of time.  The same thing is happening with gold.

While the West prints money or digits to allow the U.S. Dollar based fiat monetary system to continue, the West’s gold heads east.  Basically, the famous saying:


I will be soon releasing a new BULLET REPORT on the Gold Market.  It provides charts and data on how the recent flows are setting up the Gold Market for a big move in the future.

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26 Comments on "How Much & Where Did The U.S. Export Most Of Its Gold Since 2011??"

  1. Hi Steve,

    As a relatively small investor that buys silver and gold, what are your thoughts of trading the gold I currently own for silver while the GSR is roughly 80? I know this will result in my precious metals being confined to only silver. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thanks for your great work!

    Best regards,


    • Ken,

      Yes, there are several analysts that believe in trading the Gold-Silver ratio. This would be getting close to that level to trade out of gold and into silver. I don’t have a crystal ball on whether this is the high of the Gold-Silver ratio, but it’s probably close.

      That being said, the best strategy is to take a percentage of your physical gold and silver and trade it this way. I don’t know if I would do all of it, but a percentage would be wise. If you go listen to Michael Belkin’s recent interview on KWN, he is now putting out a newsletter on good silver stocks. He called the entry into gold stocks at the end of 2015, and those who listened did very well.

      So, now he is saying silver will outperform gold over the next 12-24 months.


    • Ken,

      Studying the topic before you make the decision to sell gold already in your possession and buy silver [losing the premiums charged for sale of G and purchase of S].

      Another bit of info on the topic:

      • Agreed David. Imho it’s better to exchange a few more FRN’s for physical silver than your gold. As soon as a silver shortage occurs, gold will get fever too. In paper markets maybe it’s a good thing trading some gold for silver. Owning physical metal is not for a quick paper profit.

      • @ David. Mike Maloney hits the crucial point when stating that (from my point of view) he sees and acts on silver as a commodity and scarcity is the point on which his bases his analyses given in the short interview. If you think it through he says basically that scarcity and most marketable good are one and the same thing. I doubt it. Scarcity will probably set the value of a commodity in one’s mind, I can live with that, but most marketable good, or money for that matter, is an entirely different story.
        @ houtskool. There are a lot of ways through which one can obtain physical precious metals. Just buying them through the use of FRN’s is one of them and probably the only sure way to do it. But you can’t compare investing in gold and silver with insurance, or being money at the same time. Just imagine one of those notorious naked short sellers in ETF’s, doing it a couple of times, earning enough FRN’s to buy physical from these proceeds. It’s like a two sided knife. Short ETF’s long the physical, that is buying it through the proceeds of the ETF’s.
        @ article. I’m very pleased to see that you state Hong Kong and China as one. Because that is the whole truth. Hong Kong maybe has a different status now, but it is China and will officially be China under one rule in 2047.

  2. Steve

    Some time back Sprott’s team looked at total exports, imports, recycling and mining into and out of the US and came up way short.

    Have you looked at import, recycling and mining over the period of this news? I am sure that could prove interesting. My guess is a health chunk of this came from someone’s vaults…

    All the Best
    Jersey Joe

    • JerseyJoe,

      I believe Sprott figured a huge deficit, but I do believe some of U.S. gold exports are foreign gold removed from the NY FED and sold into the market as commercial gold and exported. I came across some very interesting trade data that suggests that foreign held gold at the NY FED could be removed and sold into the commercial market right there in New York and then exported to respective countries.

      So, it’s hard to know how much of this NY Fed gold is “Monetary” versus “Commercial”. I don’t think Sprott accounts for this.


      • Steve,

        According to my calculations for US Gold flows from USGS yearbook data for the period 1972 to 2013.

        US Mine supply = 8,276t
        US Consumption = 13,397t
        Imports = 14,226t (including 4,869t of foreign gold sold from Fed)
        Exports = 14,860t

        Net flow = -5,754t

        I have included the 4,869t of Fed gold in consumption on the basis that it was sold into the US market. The total trading stockpiles (industry, Comex, ETF) of 3,034t at the end of 2013 had to come from somewhere.

        If the Fed gold had been exported it would be part of the Export figures as it had become ‘non-monetary’ gold.


        • CPDLC,

          Excellent work. Yes, I actually did the same thing. I had a paid GOLD REPORT all ready to come out until I found out the stupid LOOPHOLE on reporting gold out of the NY FED. You can’t just go by the USGS Fed shipments. That is monetary gold. However, there was a lot of gold that was removed out of the NY Fed and sold in the market in New York as commercial gold. So, it was not reported as shipments, but was listed as an export.

          It’s a very strange accounting problem by the U.S. trade data. So, the large gold deficit that I calculated, much similar to your figure is unreliable due to this stupid accounting mess up.

          We just don’t know the real total of NY FED gold that was removed and exported.

          Lastly, you didn’t take into consideration U.S. SCRAP GOLD SUPPLY… which was substantial.


          • —Gold / PM demand soars and PM prices collapse
            —Treasury buyers all cease buying and yields fall to near record lows on the total lack of buyers
            —No net new FT jobs (ie, new buyers) created since July ’07 but somehow all the new houses and existing are purchased, nearing / surpassing record prices in many locations

            Let’s not talk about fundamentals or impending prices to the moon. There is nothing here but total control and that isn’t likely about to change.

          • Chris,

            Nice to hear from you again. “Let’s not talk about fundamentals, or impending prices to the moon”, then what do I write about.. LOL.

            So, you say they are in control. Fine, Let’s see them print oil barrels.


          • Hey Steve – your reports and data are great and continue to highlight the discrepancy between rising demand and falling prices. I’ve shown the likewise discrepancies in other arenas (Treasury’s, population, jobs, etc. etc.). What should be very clear is there is no going back, no normalization, no return to “free markets” and pricing premised on willing sellers and willing buyers. We have passed that fork in the road and any attempt to turn back would be highlight the absolute air pocket that now exists between asset prices and fundamentals.

            To understand the criminal central banker mind, you must put yourself in their shoes and think if I had only one goal; perpetuation of the current system and not a care for the implications or imbalances created…what would I do?

            Under this thinking, CB purchases of paper assets with digitally created “money”, NIRP, even fraudulently buying/shorting PM’s in both paper and fraudulently passing PM’s in physical form, etc. etc. I truly believe there is nothing those in charge and power won’t do to keep this going…even if ultimately the perpetuation is only for another month or year or maybe a decade. Hate to be dark but specifically talking of PM’s…the massive discrepancy between PM’s worth and their present “market value” is so great that a recoupling would likely disrupt and potentially crash the current system (same is true for most other asset classes as well). So, when something can’t be…it won’t be.

            The lies, fraud, manipulations are very open and easy to spot now, if one cares to. Trouble is, there is no easy solution, no “silver bullet” to fix decades of bad decisions…a multiple of even worse decisions are necessitated to keep it going. Where or when she blows, nobody knows…but not until every lever has been pulled and every bit of ammunition spent.

            I hope I’m wrong and you are right that PM’s will offer protection but as of the short term, I’m very skeptical. In the mid and long term, I don’t disagree PM’s will be among the best options but how we get to the mid/long term will matter.

  3. What your readers should keep in mind about the 1965 Coin Act is that President Johnson assured the public ” there will be no profit in holding them (silver coins) out of circulation for the value of their silver content”. The Treasury had enough silver on hand to keep the price of silver in line with coin content value, they were told.
    So there probably is not anything to be concerned about with gold either.

    • Saxon,

      The real reason for the passing of Coinage Act of 1965 had to do with future U.S. Treasury silver shortages. The U.S. Treasury knew it could no longer hold back the price of silver because of the massive industrial demand. The liquidation of the Silver Coinage and U.S. Treasury held silver was done to exit the U.S. Govt 50+ year silver price fixing policy.

      The notion that Kennedy was going to reintroduce the Silver Certificate as real money was a RED HERRING. Kennedy knew he had to start removing silver from the U.S. Treasury and silver coinage as the U.S. Govt was going to run out of silver in the next 5-8 years.


      • Silvrwillwin | March 26, 2016 at 8:46 am |

        Johnson would be the last person whom I’d put my trust in. That guy hated his job while assistant to Kennedy and did allot to screw up this country once he got control. He was probably just given orders to lie to the American people at the time of his ” there will be no
        profit in holding them ” spiel .

        As quoted by Damon Linker / The Week

        “Johnson’s presidency went down in flames because it could never live up to his own irresponsibly exalted standards. Despite what his apologists may think and hope, the damage to his reputation can’t be erased by distracting attention from Vietnam, which was only one aspect of a multifaceted failure.”

        Couldn’t agree more !

        • Silvrwillwin,

          Yeah, I wouldn’t trust LBJ as far as I could throw a silver dollar. Regardless, I will be writing a report on this issue as I have all the facts. The United States was controlling the silver price for 50+ years and this had to end as industrial demand and future silver coinage would have totally overwhelmed the market and remaining U.S. stockpiles. This is not a conspiracy, but the truth.

          Before the 1930’s, there was very little industrial silver demand. This picked up during WW2 and surged in the 1950’s. The Central Banks realized with increasing populations needing more silver coins, partly due to rapidly expanding coin machines such as soda, candy and snacks as well as skyrocketing industrial demand, there just wouldn’t be enough silver to supply these markets.


      • steve
        The rhetorical point I was making seemed obvious to me when I wrote it, but there were quite a few who did not understand the satire. I am familiar with the Coinage Act of 1965 as well as the the other ones going back to the 1792 Coinage Act.
        The satirical point was this: just as they were blatantly wrong then about silver, they are equally so now about the bimetallic bullion going forward.

        • Yeah I got that.
          Did you ever see the video of Johnson making that proclamation? Very stern like a harsh father warning his children.

    • “What your readers should keep in mind about the 1965 Coin Act is that President Johnson assured the public ” there will be no profit in holding them (silver coins) out of circulation for the value of their silver content”. ”

      Yeah well somewhere in 1979 or 1980 I traded about $25 face value quarters [that I had taken out of circulation at face value] for enough cash to get an engine rebuilt. I’ve posted that before but it shows PM’s can be a store of value.

  4. If base metals go up in price along with PM’s in the next financial crisis current nickel and cent coins may disappear from circulation as they maybe worth more than melt.. I suspect some like me are keeping a few rolls or more just in case.

  5. Spartacus Rex | March 25, 2016 at 11:18 pm |

    @ Saxon LOL!

    “… they were (lied to).”

    There, fixed it for you.

    BTW, if you have any silver Quarter Dollars which you would like to exchange at the ratio 4:1 per fiat Clownbux, LET ME KNOW!

    S. Rex

    • Rex
      The point was was written facetiously, but it must have gone over the heads of most respondents. It seemed very obvious to me that there was storage value in precious metals-I will keep it simpler in the future.

  6. Thanks Steve!

  7. Paper Silver | March 26, 2016 at 11:39 am |

    US corporate profit recession now confirmed by back-to-back negative quarterly readings from BEA.GOV …

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