Editor's note: Originally published on 22 July, 2014
According to the latest figures by the Swiss Customs Administration, the country has exported a total of more than 600 tonnes of gold to Asia in the first half of this year. Since the start of this year, the Swiss Customs Administration is obliged to provide more detailed information on international gold and silver trade. Every month they publish an update on the volume of precious metals being exported to and imported from other countries. We documented the gold flow to Asia earlier this month.
In the month of June, a net volume of 55,78 tonnes of yellow metal went from Switzerland to Asian countries, bringing the total gold exports to Asia for the first half of this year to 603,38 tonnes of gold. A small amount of gold found its destination in the Middle-East. Over the first half of this year, the net exports from Switzerland to the region were a modest 6.9 tonnes.
The regions supplying Switzerland with gold in the first half of 2014 were Europe (395,21 tonnes), South-America (227,44 tonnes), North-America (111,33 tonnes) and Africa (87,9 tonnes). Central-Asia and Middle-America exported a net volume of 39,6 and 13,65 tonnes to Switzerland.
The graph below clearly shows the flow of physical gold to Asia. The dark colored bars show the net flow of yellow metal from and to Switzerland in the first five months of the year. The light colored bars represent the volume traded in June. As you can see, the trend continued in the past month.
Gold flowing to Asia through Switzerland
Gold flows to Asia
Question is which countries within Asia import so much precious metals from Switzerland. The following graph provides us with the answer. Most exports went to Hong Kong (239,37 tonnes), India (152 tonnes), China (88,93 tonnes) and Singapore (58,31 tonnes). A lot of the metal sent to Hong Kong is forwarded straight to China, as we know from the export numbers of the Hong Kong Census and Statistics department.
Gold exports from Switzerland to Asian countries
These two charts clearly capture the flow of gold to the rising economic powers in Asia, especially China, India and Singapore. But an even more condensed version of this development is presented below. A great cartoon by Merk Investments..
Gold as a weapon in a global currency war (Source: Merk Investments)
Disclosure: No position in any stocks or bonds. I am only long physical gold (66%) and physical silver (33%).