The Run On U.S. Gold Continues…

So where is China getting all of its gold?  One of the large sources turns out to be the United States.  The U.S. experienced another record year of net gold exports in 2013.  Not only were gold exports at record levels, imports into the U.S. fell nearly half compared to 2010.

If we look at the chart below, U.S. gold exports in 2010 were 383 metric tons (mt), however by 2013, they increased 81% to 692 mt.  In addition, U.S. gold imports fell 48% from 604 mt in 2010 to 313 mt in 2013.

U.S. Gold Imports vs Exports

According to the USGS Gold Mineral Industry Survey (published late), the U.S. exported the majority of its gold in the first half of the year.  By the end of June, the U.S. exported 406 mt, averaging 68 mt a month.  In the second half of the year, the U.S. only exported 286 mt, averaging 48 mt a month.

The months with the largest exports during 2013 were March at 89.1 mt and April at 76.6 mt.  The total import-export figures based on three categories of gold:

1) ores & concentrates

2) Dore’ & precipitates

3) Refined bullion

The overwhelming majority of gold exported was in the form of Refined bullion (488 mt), followed by Dore’ bars & precipitates (197 mt) and ores & concentrates (7.6 mt).  If we just focus on refined gold bullion exports, the table below details which countries received gold from the U.S. in 2013:

Total U.S. Gold Bullion Exports Jan-Dec 2013

As we can see, Hong Kong received the most gold bullion from the U.S. at a total of 214 mt, followed by Switzerland at 150 mt and the U.K. at nearly 29 mt.  Thus, the top three countries imported 393 mt (80%) of the total 488 mt exported in 2013.

Some interesting data points to look at were the 27 mt imported by Thailand and 11 mt China received in 2013.  If the majority of U.S. gold exported to Hong Kong and Switzerland made its way to China and other Eastern countries, we can assume that nearly 75% of total U.S. gold exports went to the East… with the majority going to the Chinese.

The huge wholesale buying of gold by the Chinese in 2013, put a big damper on U.S. gold imports.  Koos Jansen at InGoldWeTrust stated that total Chinese wholesale gold demand was 2197 mt in 2013.  According to Koos, this did not include Peoples Bank of China purchases which may have put the total at 2,500 mt.

As the U.S. struggles to maintain its domestic gold production, mine supply fell from 234 mt in 2012 to 231 mt in 2013.  This may not seem like much of a decline, but if we look at a longer dated chart…. the U.S. peaked in gold production in 1998 at 366 mt.

U.S. Gold Production

This chart published in my article, GOLD PRODUCTION WARS:  The East Slays The West, shows that U.S. gold production declined 36% since 1998.  The USGS estimated domestic production would remain flat in 2013 at 234 mt, however it fell slightly.  If you haven’t read the article linked above, I highly recommend it.

Since 1997, the year the top three Western gold producers peaked, total gold production from Australia, U.S. and Canada declined from 845 mt to an estimated 624 mt in 2013.  On the other hand, the two top Eastern producers (China & Russia) increased their produce in the same time period from 290 mt to a staggering 664 mt in 2013.

This is clearly seen in the table below:

East vs West Gold Production

Amazingly, China & Russia’s gold production now surpasses the total of the top three Western countries by an estimated 40 metric tons.  Things just don’t look good for the West.

As the West continues to print fiat currency and manufacture derivatives to keep their financial systems from imploding, the Chinese and Russians focus on increasing their domestic gold mine supply while the East absorbs whatever gold the West can deliver.

This becomes even more apparent when we look at the following chart.  Even though total U.S. gold exports in 2013 were nearly the same as they were in 2012, net gold exports increased due to a drop in imports and a decline mine supply.

U.S. Gold Exports & Net Annual Change

(figures above based 0n imports, exports and domestic mine supply)

Here we can see the United States had net gold imports of 452 mt in 2010 and 267 mt in 2011.  However, in the past two years net gold imports turned negative.  In 2012, the U.S. suffered a negative gold net import of 126 mt and increased this amount to a net loss of 148 mt in 2013.

In the past two years, the United States exported 275 metric tons of gold more than its total domestic mine supply and imports combined.  This is not a trend that can last very long or the U.S. will find its gold shelves empty at some point in the future.

I plan to publish an interesting article on the huge decline of U.S. Gold scrap exports.  There were some very interesting events that took place in the U.S. gold scrap import-export market in 2013.

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44 Comments on "The Run On U.S. Gold Continues…"

  1. Every article hunting another boogeyman

    • 2014,

      Don’t follow your drift there. However, the data in this article is all there. How it pertains to a BOOGEYMAN is beyond me.


      • The boogeyman is peoples lack of patience. They think large nations currencies will fail in the next 5 minutes and their gold and silver will release them from their peasantry bondage.

        When it doesn’t happen in the time frame THEY want, every data point is the boogeyman.

    • If you are ever burglarized, mugged, assaulted or vandalized, please realize there are no boogeymen about. When financial crime transpires on a monumental scale simple minds cannot believe any collusive action causes it. Fortunately the entire country is not comatose.

  2. First!!!! Had to do it. Won’t happen again.

  3. What time scale do you claim when physical gold decouples from paper gold?

    • d2thdr,

      That is the Trillion Dollar Question. However, trends and events are speeding up rapidly. There must be a good reason why the Chinese recently purchased JP Morgan’s Bank complex in Manhattan… including the largest gold vault in the world.

      Also, the gold export figures above are from “Official sources.” We have no idea what amount of gold is leaving the United States that is not reported.

      I believe the answer is found when the Chinese decide to pull the plug on the Dollar. There are so many BLACK SWANS circling above… I am amazed the global fiat monetary system lasted this long.


      • The story of the 350 tons of gold that was flown out of Kiev, Urkraine, was a few days back, and then in the last two days, the price of gold and silver is dropping. Though only speculation, I was under the impression that the US and the Eliters, were nearly out of PMs. But with the influx of the Kiev PMs stolen in the night, it gave another 350 tons to keep the market down, and of course when that is all gone, then the price starts going up again, to correct itself to reality. I personally think that one ounce of silver is worth around $200 US, why? because one ounce of silver was the daily wage for a professional tradesman for centuries. Today, in the west, a pro tradesman makes around $200 per day.
        Gold was worth a month of labor for a skilled professional tradesman, so that puts gold at
        around $5000. Only since the establishment of the 1913 jekell island team of shucksters, has the manipulated price not spoken the truth.

        • Robert Happek | March 19, 2014 at 6:08 pm |

          It is very unlikely that a poor country like Ukraine had 350 tons of gold. If that were the case they would not have problems to finance their foreign debt of roughly $50 billion. A wealthy country like Russia might have that much gold. More likely, Ukraine had perhaps somewhere between 3.5 and 35 tons of gold, if they had any gold at all. The alleged rumor of Ukraine gold being shipped abroad has not been confirmed by any reputable source. I would assume they had no gold at all.

        • The Ukraine was reported to have 35 tons of gold not 350 tons. Regardless, it is absolutely remarkable that the US wasted no time to plunder the Ukraine of their gold. I guess after “investing” $5 billion to orchestrate a coup and install a puppet western government, it was their way to get reimbursed.

        • Rachel, historically, about 1/10th of an ounce of silver was a day’s wage. That was before we discarded billions of ounces into the landfills and before there were 7 billion termites consuming every resource in sight.

          you may enjoy some of Chris Duane’s work from a couple years back where he talks about this:

        • I thought it was 35 tons? 350 Tons would be perfect to give to the suckers..I mean the Germans….I would put silver true value at about 1000 an oz or a little more. You say professionals? The Roman Legionnaire was far more than your average soldier. They were the engineers who built the aqua-ducts and all the roads. They earned 1/10 an oz/day. Romans were smart ..Keep your army busy, no down time. If your not fighting then your building the city!

          • Robert Happek | March 21, 2014 at 12:54 pm |

            According to an Ukraine newspaper, the amount shipped was 33 tons – not 35 tons. Most likely, the gold was sent as a collateral for the US loan of $1 billion to the Ukraine government. Indeed, 1 gram of gold at present gold prices is worth roughly $43 which means that 1 ton of gold is worth $43 million which in turn means that 33 tons of gold is roughly worth $1.42 billion Dollars. Given the volatile nature of the price of gold, this is a reasonable collateral for a $1 billion Dollar loan to the Ukraine by the US government. Given that Ukraine is bankrupt, it is indeed a matter of caution for the US government to insist on a gold collateral. In fact, loans between governments are frequently secured by gold deposits.

          • gOTcHA, cHA cHA | March 22, 2014 at 9:50 am |

            Sounds like a great deal for the US. and Ukraine, not for “you & me” and whomever holds US. dollars. Paper for Gold, cant beat dat!

      • China is not going to pull the plug on the Petro Dollar alone – it cant.
        Russia/BRICKS/Chicoms and others will pull this off together.
        Common enemies will always hook up and conspire to achieve a common goal.

  4. newbiegoldbug | March 19, 2014 at 5:21 pm |

    Why would China want to store any gold in Manhattan when it could be confiscated in future by
    Amerikan govt/fed?

  5. DoChenRollingBearing | March 19, 2014 at 5:58 pm |

    Another great article, I will have to look for and read each one.

  6. Steve, it seems the Ponzi is going into overdrive…non-sense is rampant in “market” after market right now…as you show, thee gold market is being squeezed dry while the debt market is truly a farce…these seem very inter-related….as the US moves to monetize more of it’s debt as the gold outflows peak.

    with Fed tapering new purchases (assuming to zero), who will buy the min $500 B/yr in new issuance plus rollover the $12 T + public debt and at what rates in our ultra rate sensitive “economy”???

    Only 3 categories ; Domestic, Fed, and Foreigners

    1) Fed sez they are tapering their purchases to zero (normalization of balance sheet ???)

    2) Domestics have added a net zero since ’00…these are states, pensions, insurers, etc. who cannot afford to buy bonds yielding 2.5% for 10yrs and meet their 8% assumptions…plus they are record levered into the market which they’d have to sell in order to buy Treasury’s

    3) So, it’s all up to “foreigners” to maintain their $5.5 T in notes/bonds and speed up their purchases despite smaller US trade and budget deficits….anybody else see a problem with this story…factor in the following and try to determine what the fuck the Fed is trying to achieve???
    Context below…

    Jan ’00 – ’07 – Dec ’13

    $1 T —> $1.6 T —> $5.6 T (cumulative “foreign” held US Treasury debt)

    25% —> 40% —> 55% (% of notes / bonds held by “foreigners”)

    1% —> 1% —> 25% (% Fed held notes / bonds…Fed primarily held Bills until ’08)

    74% —> 59% —> 20% (% domestically held notes / bonds)

    180% —> 130% —> 247% (% public vs. intra-gov debt)

    350% increase (public outstanding debt, $3.5 T to $12.4 T)

    250% increase (intra-gov debt, $2 T to $5 T)

    6.6% —> 5% —> 2.4% (net interest rate on debt)

    $300B -> $270B —> $223B (net interest paid on national debt)

    Is the Fed trying to highlight to everyone what a farce this is in order to crash the dollar and the system??? I have no comprehension what the Fed is attempting to do via creating unsustainable debt @ anything but zero rates w/ QE and then tapering absent creating the capability to pay for all that debt @ anything with anything but QE???

    BANKING CENTERS holdings of US Treasury debt (wonder who the real buyer behind these purchases is???)

    ’00 ’08 ’14
    “Carribean banking centers”
    $ 35 B —> $68 B —> $291 B
    Switzerland $18 B> $34 B —> $175 B
    HK $39 B —> $52 B —> $159 B
    Singapore $30 B-> $30 B —> $86 B
    Ireland $5 B —> $19 B —> $125 B
    Belgium $28 B –> $13 B —> $310 B (yes, a 25X increase since ’08)
    Luxemburg $5 B –> $60 B –> $134 B
    TOTAL $160 B……………………. $1,277 T (800% increase)

    So, “foreigners” act irrationally (w/out profit motive) in buying ever more US debt @ ever lower rates but US domestic sources act rationally by avoiding it to invest in higher yielding stuff…and this bizarro world where because one is a “foreigner” he loves US debt while US sources avoid it for the shit it is…and this makes sense???

    When there is clear fraud and lies in the largest of the large markets, the bonds, the FX, etc. etc…it’s easy to understand why nothing makes logical sense in the PM’s markets. But when the biggest rigging is clear for all to see, look out because the Ponzi is nearly gone full circle. However, I make no claim to know what this will mean to holders of PM’s (riches beyond belief or jail time or confiscation or or or). May be a dangerous time to be outside the norm (1% are PM holders) but then again it just may be a dangerous time period.

    • lastmanstanding | March 19, 2014 at 8:33 pm |

      Chris, dude, this is about the 5th time that you posted bs like this. You want to post all that “nothing”, please do it on your own site. I’m sure you’ll be impressed.

      Don’t go away mad, just gtfa.

      • done…c ya.

        • roguefaction | March 20, 2014 at 12:18 am |

          Suggest you hang in there bud –

          you have to realize that Americans are so assailed by ‘thought police’ of various kinds now that they start acting just like their oppressors… all sites show evidence of this sad Stockholm Syndrome-like intolerance.

          You might try using a comic book formula to drive the point home instead tho…something like

          3% of the world’s population has been burning up more than 30% of the world’s natural resources and energy supplies – and since 1971 they have been using pieces paper of no intrinsic worth to do it!

          No matter what these paper notes say on their face, what they are really purporting to pass themselves off as areIs BTUs – representations of a claim to energy which the holders IN FACT DO NOT POSSESS! So their government has to “sell” other pieces of paper(Treasury notes) which further purport to hold some amount of BTUs… but actually only hold a threat of aggressive military enforcement upon any who question this obvious scam.

          We do get what you are saying Chris… and it is indeed an important part of the big picture in unwinding the EROI puzzle… nobody really believes that the Belgians are buying American debt instruments.

          When that ‘pyramid scheme’ finally collapses… Americans will indeed be shivering in the cold and dark…. some huddled beside their stash of “my precious!”

        • lastmanstanding | March 20, 2014 at 7:10 pm |

          Chris. I was out of line, I apologize.

          My reply to Rojelio’s comment below will sum up my apology.

          If you ever get to Montana, I’ll buy you a beer. We have great beer here.

      • can he come back if he makes a damn point in 50 words or less?

        • lastmanstanding | March 20, 2014 at 7:06 pm |

          Or just something coming from his heart. Tell me what your personal opinion is…I want to hear what real people have to say.

          I really don’t even look at Steve’s graphs and charts and I think that his “stuff” blows everyone else out of the water. (Just like Chris Duane’s “Silver Bullet and the Silver Shield”) Steve’s article, “The forces that will drive silver to $100″…(sorry Steve) grabbed me a shook the hell out of me. Having run heavy equipment for over 35 years, I have seen more fossil fuel burned in my lifetime than all of the readers here at srs lifetimes combined. That is miniscule compared to this on a global scale…not to mention what is wasted on non-production. Oil was easy for a while

          Chris, I apologize. I was out of line. Brother, you are a human being with original thoughts. Tell me what you think about all this.

          My point that I try to convey to people in my comments/posts regard how the earth works. I have spent most of my life outside using her materials to build stuff. On the other hand, I have nearly drown, froze to death, dodged an avalanche or 2 while enjoying what the earth provides. Long story short, if we understand what she is capable of, maybe we will live…that is how it is supposed to be.

          All of the answers to surviving this are in plain site not a bank ledger, graph or chart…it’s just that simple.

          • roguefaction | March 21, 2014 at 11:01 am |

            Takes a man to man up…you got my respect for that bro.

            We have the makings of a very fine community here -thanks to Steve’s manner of handling things… if we hang together and appreciate each other’s diverse viewpoints… this will become THE go to place for goldenholders… there’s a LOT of good folks on some legacy sites I will not mention by name that are crying for the good ol days fore everybody interesting got the can!

            Bring em on over Dochen Bearing Boy and the rest of you refugees… Andale!

            Yeah – Steves’ graphs n charts are D BEST… if Chris can work out a deal to post his stuff in that format – I guarantee it will be as eyepoppin as a chart of shale gas’s dropoff rate!

  7. Nitro Charged | March 19, 2014 at 7:07 pm |

    Well isn’t that interesting… the two months last year gold was really monkey hammered coinciding with the largest exit amount of gold.

  8. The amount of Gold taken out of Ukraine was 35 Metric Tonnes NOT 350 Metric Tonnes. Enough to supply China for a few weeks!

  9. So I’m confused. I’ve seen about 800 articles in the last 6 months that say all the gold is already gone. For example on Sgtreport right this minute, “Western vaults are empty”, says Alistair McLeod.

    To me, empty means 0 tons, not the 500+ tons for at least the next couple of years as would be suggested by the charts above. Where are these guys getting their information that seems to be consistently wrong for years now.

    • roguefaction | March 19, 2014 at 11:44 pm |

      That’s a fair question.

      I’m sure I’m not telling you anything new if I say that the sources you mention are prone to rhetorical overkill in trying to make their point.

      Of course, the vaults are not ’empty’ … in the physical sense; it’s rather a question of ownership. With formerly government owned gold leased/ hypothecated /collateralised several times over, the stock which sits in those vaults is property of entities who we can only speculated upon the identity of. As for the Germans and others whose gold is ‘entrusted’ to the Federal Reserve Bank….

      the one thing we can be sure of, the game has not changed in millenia: what the Venetian banks did to Europe in the C14th is exactly the formula of Wall Street today =
      “Venice had deliberately ensnared all the surrounding subject economies, including the German economy, for her own profit; she drew her living from them, preventing them from acting freely. … “Venice had deliberately ensnared all the surrounding subject economies, including the German economy, for her own profit; she drew her living from them, preventing them from acting freely…This triumph of “free trade” over the potential for national government, rigged the Fourteenth century’s global human catastrophes, the worst onslaught of death and depopulation in history.” Braudel

      German banks and merchant houses were wiped out by Venetian currency speculation/manipulations, and Venetian alliance with the eastern Mongol empire allowed them to control and profit from a steady trade in gold, slaves and spices.

      The flow of gold eastwards this article addresses is a pretty good clue as to who those new owners might be –

      and as to why they are comfortable with leaving their stock in the USA for now…

      well, let’s just say that J Willie’s assertion that the Chinese actually have a lien on the IRS revenue flow is not as far-fetched as it may sound! GOLD. SLAVES. OIL…

  10. Steve,
    Thanks for another great article. You often renew this PM bug’s faith that the metals are •the best• place to park one’s assets. Kudos!

  11. I was just sitting here, thinking where in the hell did sgs go? He is how I linked to and follow your site. I am simply just blown away how all the trolls, and the loudmouths that bought at high, now are so quiet.
    I swallowed bear kool aid, also, but also started buying in the mid eighties, Cause’ my father in law sat me down and gave me the quarter/ dime speech. Where ever you are, Canada (Ottawa) whatever. Come back out of hiding and know you were still right. we miss you pal, crappy bear vids that opened some very glued shut eyes.
    SRSrocco. please do not give up hope. as well. I talk a talk about your site and am a true fan. (Not humping your leg or anything), Keep it going, as you provide a valuable piece of alternative news and info that I try to get as many zombies and sheep to read.

  12. Strange, I don’t see GERMANY on that list.

  13. Just thought you would like to know this little nugget of truth

    I recently read that the ancient Babylonian stele containing the Hammurrabi Law Code stated that a days wages for hard labor was 6 “grains” of silver or about 17 days of labor for one US dime

    Holy Poo Poo

  14. Probably preaching to the choir, however for anyone interested here’s a clear explanation of the state of the shale oil industry with Chris Martenson & Richard Heinberg. Probable peak in 2015.

    Steve this might be a good venue for you if you haven’t already interviewed with Chris.

  15. If there is a boogey man then you sure nailed it Steve another great article.

    A poster on another forum (deadeye) has always said “we will wake up in the morning and gold will be up $100 …that will be the start…its coming and its close….a picture tells 1000 words!

  16. Hebba Investments | March 21, 2014 at 4:03 pm |

    Excellent Post! Looking forward to the scrap exports – keep up the good work

  17. Srsrocco, I’m so happy to read posts like this. At least you are examining real data and facts unlike that bitcoin shill. Keep up the good work!

  18. We have been considering purchasing gold and/or sliver EAGLES for a while but till now have not done so. I called a local dealer and he recommended not to buy gold but only silver.
    Recommended amount was 500 (1box) for 12,000 1oz silver eagles. Being new to this I wanted to ask the opinion of others and listen to their input. (I understand mint premiums, 1/10 oz versus full oz will cause price variance etc.)
    I’m not necessarily buying this for an investment so much as for being able to sustain my family in case of any financial collapse.
    Thanks in advance for all comments.

    • correction $12,000 for 1 box of 500 1 troy oz silver eagles. that was when the silver price was 21.80 on the market.

  19. In a short time the banks will fail and a new Nesara system will begin, at that time all gold and silver prices will fall to normal levels of around 1960 prices. everyone holding gold and silver will loose a considerable amount of money. Obama is supposed to announce the new banking system shortly.

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