U.S. Imports Record Amount Of Gold From Switzerland In July

It seems as if the tide has changed as the U.S. imported a record amount of gold from Switzerland in July.  Normally, the flow of gold from the United States has been heading toward Switzerland.  For example, when the U.S. exported a record 691 metric tons (mt) of gold in 2013, Switzerland received 284 mt, which accounted for 41% of the total.  Compare that to the paltry 3 metric tons of gold imported from Switzerland that very same year.

However, something has changed in the market dynamics as the U.S. imported a record 23.8 mt of gold from Switzerland in July:


As I stated in my previous article, WHAT’S GOING ON?? Record Swiss Gold Flow Into The United States: the Swiss exported 20.7 mt of gold in May 2016, up considerably from its monthly average 0.4 mt.  Even though gold imports from Switzerland declined the next month to only 13.1 mt in June, they were still much higher than their monthly average going back until Jan. 2015.

But, as we can see… U.S. gold imports from Switzerland jumped 82% in July to 23.8 mt compared to June.  There has been speculation in the precious metals community as to why the Swiss are now exported gold to the United States.  While many theories seem plausible, the one that makes the most sense is that investors in Europe who have their gold stored in Switzerland are moving it to the United States to protect it from the implications of negative interest rates.

Furthermore, after the Brexit vote for the U.K. to leave the European Union (In June), it has also put a lot of stress on investors holding assets within the E.U. countries.  For whatever reason, gold bullion is now flowing into the United States from Switzerland in record volume for the first time in many years.

This next chart shows the annual imports of gold from Switzerland going back until 2000:


As we can see, Switzerland’s gold exports to the U.S. are already 60.7 mt in 2016, up more than 18 times the volume in 2015.  Again, for whatever reason, Swiss gold is heading into the United States in record volume.

In addition, this is the first year the U.S. has imported more gold than it has exported in several years:


In 2012, the United States exported a record 693 mt of gold, while imports were only 332 mt.  Even though the volume of U.S. gold exports declined in 2014 and 2015, they were still much higher than imports (62% & 86% respectively).

However, this has changed in the first seven months of 2016, as the U.S. has imported 249 mt of gold versus exports of only 190 mt.  The majority of the increase of U.S. gold imports came from Switzerland.  Of the 249 mt of U.S. gold imports Jan-July 2016, Switzerland accounted for 60.7 mt, compared to only 3 mt in 2015.

With the upcoming Chinese Yuan into the IMF SDR (Special Drawing Rights) on Oct 1st, the situation for the U.S. Dollar going forward will come under increased stress as global trade moves more into Chinese Yuan currency.  This will negatively impact the U.S. Treasury holdings by foreigners as they move into owning more Chinese Yuan for trade.

The days of the U.S. Dollar Reserve currency status is coming to an end.  It is no surprise that Russia and China continue to add a great deal of gold to their official holdings.

Lastly, I will be publishing a very important article on the precious metals next week.  It will provide analysis on the top four precious metals (Gold, Platinum, Palladium and Silver) that most investors have not seen before.  It will be out either Monday or Tuesday next week.

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33 Comments on "U.S. Imports Record Amount Of Gold From Switzerland In July"

  1. Time to, “…make sure your set belt is fastened and your trey is in the upright and locked position.”

  2. I would think this would help strengthen the US dollar and would also help keep inflation down.

    • How would creating currency to buy a small amount of gold do anything towards stabalising the dollar when they got trillions sitting tin the banks? They control the value of the dollar by rigging the markets and using derivatives.
      More likely,to make phyusical comex settlements cos theyre running out..

  3. Why would someone move it’s physical gold to protect it against negative interest rates?

    • I was just about to post the same Q.

      And, why is gold affected by negative interest rates…except people buy more as an alternative to buying and holding negative yield bond investment.

      • So… we should wonder how much of the ‘imported’ gold is paper, and how much is phyz. The only reason i can imagine is protection of paper assets. Managed ‘money’, iou’s, etf’s etc.

    • Sounds like bollocks

    • They would hide it under the bed. So we’re saying that one entity shipped 60 tonnes of physical gold to the us. That takes a bit of believing.

  4. “For whatever reason, gold bullion is now flowing into the United States from Switzerland in record volume for the first time in many years.”

    “The unarguable scheme by western Central Banks to suppress the price of gold with paper gold is contingent on the ability to deliver actual physical gold into China and India. In this blog’s educated opinion, the supply of gold available to make this happen is running low: Central Bank gold stock plus investor custodial gold that has been hypothecated.”


  5. Hello Steve ,

    I have been reading this blog daily for a couple of years now and i want to thank you for the idea that the economy’s difficulty lies with the lack of cheap energy.

    What do you think of buying physical copper as a form of wealth and in what form could that be? I have not seen where you can buy copper bullion except at prices far above the market price.

    Thanks for all the work that you do.


    • Mike Furnas,

      I am a bit perplexed as to the future of copper as a STORE OF VALUE. In some ways it makes sense, but in others… it doesn’t. The negative issue with copper is it’s weight. Some wealthy investors rather own gold because the same value in silver would weigh 68 times more than gold. And it’s even worse for copper.

      For example, if an investor had $1 million to invest in either gold, silver or copper, this would be the result:

      $1 million in Gold = 51 lbs
      $1 million in Silver = 3,480 lbs
      $1 million in Copper = 454,454 lbs

      So, there lies the rub. If things got really rough and the individual had to leave his area quickly, it is much easier to move 51 lbs of gold than 3,480 lbs of silver. And we can forget about trying to move nearly 205 metric tons of copper in a rush.

      While copper may increase in value in the future as most paper assets collapse, I would rather BET on GOLD & SILVER than copper. However, owning some copper might be a good idea. But, I wouldn’t own too much of it.


    • Copper IS NOT bullion. It is a commodity. As JP Morgan said, “Only GOLD is money. Everything else is credit (debt).” Silver does have some investment aspects, but is still considered an industrial metal, which is why it is taxed so heavily in Europe.

      • The Finn,

        JP Morgan said “Only GOLD is money.” That was certainly true 80 years ago when he said it. However, the situation will be different going forward for the precious metals.

        Moreover, Gold and Silver are both being currently valued due to the cost of production, not based on their high quality STORE OF VALUE properties. This is commonly know as a “COMMODITY PRICE MECHANISM.” I will be discussing this in a new article next week.


  6. There is “NO” cognitive answer as to why this is being done…NEGATIVE INTERESTS RATES?…There is so much BS on the internet. Hard to know what to believe…EXCEPT FOR THE 19 PLUS DEBT.

  7. Citizen of EU countries moving gold from Switzerland to USA after BREXIT vote, because of uncertainty & turmoil in EU?!?

    That theory doesn’t make any sense at all. Switzerland is not even in the EU. It should be US citizen who should be moving their gold to a much safer jurisdiction like Switzerland due to uncertainty & chaos surrounding US elections (and, regardless of anything to do with BREXIT vote).

    • houtskool, David, Jean & Theravaida,

      You all misunderstand the reason for large entities moving gold from Switzerland to the United States. Because the EU is printing money like mad and buying their own bonds, this is causing Europeans to move into the Swiss Franc. To discourage more Europeans moving into the Swiss Franc, thus making the Franc stronger, the SNB – Swiss National Bank has instituted negative rates.

      This has impacted the large Swiss banks. However, these Swiss banks have not yet transferred the cost to small retail depositors, but rather to the larger entities and funds. Thus pension plans or large funds have to pay to keep their large deposits at these Swiss Banks.

      I am not clear on this issue if gold is part of the assets in Swiss banks that are subject to negative rates, or if the selling or trading gold and getting cash would be subject to negative rates. This is why we are seeing a large movement of gold bullion from Switzerland to the United States. It has nothing to do with the the European Union directly, rather it’s an “indirect” consequence.

      For example, 57 metric tons of gold that were exported from May-July equals 1,832,550 oz, worth $2.4 billion dollars. $2.4 billion dollars at say -0.25% rate would be $6.1 million a year or $12.2 million if it was subject to -0.50% rate.

      So, moving the gold to the United States saves these large entities the CARRYING COST of this gold. Again, this is what I have heard from a source. And it makes the most sense.


      • Steve,
        the theory that make most sense to me is the same one than Bill Holter, Jim Sinclair and Jim Willie.
        The gold imported is to cover the comex deliveries. In May, the had to deliver 21 tonnes and the imported was 20.7 tonnes, is it really a coincidence ?

        So if that’s the real reason, we are talking about the comex being in default territory here.

        • David,

          Why would Swiss gold be used to fill in the holes at the Comex?? Why don’t they just take if from the NY Fed and not make it public by showing gold moving from Switzerland to the United States?? To be honest, I try to steer clear from some of the conspiracy stuff put out by certain individuals.

          I am not saying that this theory of moving Swiss Gold to keep from paying fees on negative rates is the correct one, but it seems more logical sense than shipping gold all the way from Switzerland (and having a paper trail) just to supplement the Comex.


          • Steve

            Who’s to say the NY Fed has any Gold? Have you seen it? Has there been any audits?

            There are several theories. I have a few and all are plausible, One theory not mentioned is that the US are increasing Gold stockpiles to catch up to the 30,000 tons that Alidair McLeod believes they could have (wink)

          • DisappearingCulture | September 24, 2016 at 8:58 am |

            I’m going to start posting under this that I use for another website, since someone posts here with the same 1st name as mine.

            “Why would Swiss gold be used to fill in the holes at the Comex?? Why don’t they just take if from the NY Fed and not make it public by showing gold moving from Switzerland to the United States?? To be honest, I try to steer clear from some of the conspiracy stuff put out by certain individuals.”

            OK but that conspiracy theory, that the backstop suppliers are running out of gold to meet physical delivery on the COMEX, that will move from a theory to a reality if it isn’t now. The COMEX price supression has to have metal supplies going into the marketplace [even if 99% of transactions settle on paper].

          • Hi Steve,
            i agree we can’t know for sure but when Bill Holter, Jim Sinclair and Jim Willie think the same way, i take it into consideration cause theses guys are not some new kids in town, they followed this market for a very long time.

            There is 2 points in your reply that i find interesting:
            -“Why would Swiss gold be used to fill in the holes at the Comex??“ Why not ?? At this point, US are so desperate to get their hands on physical that they will do whatever it takes (even if it leave a paper trail).

            “ just to supplement the Comex“ It’s the word “just“ that i’m not sure what you mean, is it in the sense that it’s not that important ? The Comex for the US is like a heart for a human, so vital and critical, so to me yes, just to supplement the Comex.

            Btw, i’m not trying to discredit what you wrote, i’m just sharing my points of views. I love reading your articles, you put a lot of work into it and they are very usefull infos, really appreciated, continue the great work !

          • If my memory serves me right, one high-positioned Fed member stated in a public interview/hearing that the Fed did not own any gold and that they handed all the gold over to the Treasury and only keep it as book entry at 42$ an ounce. If that is true, whatever gold there is (left) would belong to other entities, so it may well be that the CONeX can no longer source fizzical aurum en masse from them. As long as there won’t be a full audit of all assets (and who their owners are, and how much of it is just re-re-re-hypothicated or just some paper (gold) entry) we cannot know, and thus, will likely never know for sure.

  8. joey says:
    September 24, 2016 at 2:08 am


    Who’s to say the NY Fed has any Gold? Have you seen it? Has there been any audits?

    There are several theories. I have a few and all are plausible, One theory not mentioned is that the US are increasing Gold stockpiles to catch up to the 30,000 tons that Alidair McLeod believes they could have (wink)

    Sorry, They as in “China”

  9. I’m totally confused. Is the US importing or US citizens importing or is it EU citizens exporting or is it gold is moving from Switzerland to the US and we are all engaged in useless speculation?

    • RonT,

      We have no idea. However, U.S. citizens have not imported any significant amount of gold from Switzerland for decades. We do know that 57 metric tons has been exported May-July. That is a lot of gold.

      While it’s hard to determine the real reason for the large Swiss gold exports to the U.S., it does show something has significantly changed in the Swiss-USA gold market.


  10. Fear moves capital to safety, in the form of gold bullion/coins. It is that same fear that moves this gold to seek the safest place(s) to reside. Optimism is waning.
    Things have to get better, they can’t get any worse. Just because things can’t get any worse, is no reason to believe they can’t get any better.
    They might just stay the same. Who says things can’t get any worse? They just may get worse, before they get much worse. So bad in fact, that it will be all downhill from here.
    Got gold or silver?

  11. Someone has understood that gold is going to skyrocket!

  12. Rough Paraphrase, Why do people rob banks because that’s where the money is. Why would we be importing gold from Switzerland because that’s where the gold is! Sorry Steve can’t wrap my head around your Swiss Franc shell game. Its really simple the Banksters have been getting significant calls on Physical at the Crimex. The Swiss refiners have the gold the deal is made to keep the Crimex from defaulting. The large fiat bribes are not working as they have in the past and who knows how much of a premium the Swiss are getting to provide the Phiz. Given the U.S. governments sticky fingers I don’t see anyone wanting to ship gold over here for storage. Especially when we refuse to provide audited data on our holdings.

    Anyone here buy from Apmex? I have for several years not big purchases but enough to perhaps see a pattern. My recent purchases have been small quantities of Au. Since early August the delivery periods have begun stretching out. My last order was shipped outside of their advertised window by a couple days…no biggie. I purchased last Sunday and mailed my payment from the local post office early Monday morning. I live ~100 miles from OKC where Apmex is located. On Friday they still were showing awaiting payment. I messaged them and told them I was concerned that they had not received payment. They were NOT concerned I offered to mail another check and was told don’t worry check back with us on Tuesday and we will decide what to do? Will my payment magically show up Tuesday? Is Apmex really busy? Is Apmex running short on Au?

    I am not trying to disparage Apmex they have always delivered what I ordered and quality was consistent or better than what I ordered. Just wondering if this could be another sign things are getting even tighter.

    BTW how about the arbitrage between the Crimex and Shanghi. Last week it hit $10/oz. That’s what
    $321,500/ton. Would guess that would get some people motivated to play. How much more will that upset the import/export game?

  13. 23 tons is not a whole lot of Gold eventhough it might seem compared to the previous months and years.
    Since when do investors have to pay negative interest rates on Gold? Sounds very strange to me.

  14. Steve –

    If you look at the non monetary gold trade data over the last 20 years, the United States has been a net exporter of about 5000 tons of gold. Domestic consumption has approximated gold production – abx and nem over this period.

    Where do you think the net 5000 tons of gold came from? US treasury and or earmarked gold vaulted at new york fed.

    Wall Street banks acting as agents for the US Gov’t have sold off massive amounts of gold to maintain US hegemony and create demand for US treasuries. Now the tide may be turning but it’s too late.

    The US will not be able to procure massive amounts of gold at current price of gold once demand in India and China reverse back to prior year levels.

    Wall Street banks have $750 billion of equity. If gold increases to $2500 per oz, it wipes out half of their $750 billion equity. They’re bk. That’s what the fight has all been about – and it explains the constant dumping of massive another of gold at market to kill the pricing of gold and discourage investors/speculators.

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