Something quite extraordinary has taken place in the gold market which has not occurred for decades. For years the U.S. has been exporting gold to Switzerland to be refined before being shipped onto Asia. However, the tables have now turned. In May the U.S. imported 20.7 tonnes of gold from Switzerland, 50 times more gold than their 2015 average.
So why the massive change? Could this be a result of Brexit? Or the recent surge in price? Or are investors demanding physical delivery from an already drained COMEX?
While the U.S are increasing their imports, China is ramping up their own internal gold production. China mined 450 metric tonnes in 2015, accounting for a staggering 14% of total global supply. China also has an estimated 12,000 tons of gold waiting to be mined. China’s influence does not stop there. The Shanghai Gold Exchange is now the world’s largest physical market. In 2015, 34,000 tons of gold was bought and sold, up a staggering 90% on last years.