Total U.S. gold exports picked up substantially in October after a low was hit in September at 37.6 metric tons. As the price of gold declined from $1,400 at the beginning of September to a low of $1,250 in October, gold exports increased to Hong Kong & Switzerland.
According to the USGS Gold Mineral Industry Survey, total gold exports from the U.S. to Hong Kong increased from 12.2 metric tons (mt) in September to 17.8 mt in October. Furthermore, Switzerland had the largest increase as it imported 23.7 mt in October compared to 13.9 mt in September.
If we look at the chart below, we can see that total U.S. gold exports increased 31% from 37.6 mt in September to 49.4 mt in October:
Even though total gold exports from the U.S. has been lower in the latter part of the year, it will still turn out to be a record for 2013. Total gold exports include refined bullion, Dore’ & precipitates and ores & concentrates.
The table below represents the total U.S. Gold bullion only:
As we can see, Hong Kong received the most gold bullion from the U.S. at 193.6 mt from Jan-Oct, while Switzerland received 143.5 mt. Total U.S. gold bullion exports for the first 10 months of the year were 449 mt which accounted for 72% of overall total.
The remaining 28% of gold exports were 167 mt of Dore’ & precipitates and 6 mt of ore’s & concentrates. The United States imported a great deal more Dore’ & precipitates than refined bullion in 2013.
U.S. Gold Imports 2013 Jan-Oct
Gold Bullion = 78 mt
Dore’ & precipitates = 184 mt
Total = 226 mt
What is interesting to see here is that the U.S. has exported nearly six times more gold bullion than it has imported from Jan-Oct (Exported = 449 mt / Imported = 78 mt).
Lastly, it looks like the supply of U.S. gold scrap exports has fallen substantially in 2013. In the first ten months of 2013, gold scrap (gross weight) declined 55% at 121 mt compared to 266 mt during the same period last year.
Either the extreme low price of gold has killed the market for gold scrap, or the available sources of gold scrap are starting to run out.
2014 may turn out to be an interesting year for gold. There are so many inherent weaknesses in the present financial system, that anything could push it over the cliff.