Chart Of The Day: Chinese November Gold Imports Soar To 91 Tons; 2012 Total 720 Tons

Tyler Durden's picture

Regular readers are familiar with our monthly series showing the inexorable surge in Chinese gold imports. It is time for the November update, and it's a doozy: at 90.8 tons, this was the second highest gross import number of 2012, double the 47 tons imported in October (which many saw, incorrectly, as an indication of China's waning interest in the yellow metal), and brings the Year to Date total to a massive 720 tons of gold through November. If last year is any indication, the December total will be roughly the same amount, and will bring the total 2012 import amount to over 800 tons, double the 392.6 tons imported in 2011.

Indicatively, should the full year total import number indeed print in the 800 tons range, it will mean that in one year China, whose official reserve holdings are still a negligible 1054 (and realistically at least double, if not triple, this number), will have imported more gold than the official holdings of Japan, last pegged at 765.2 tons (and well more than the ECB's 502.1 tons).

Finally, putting the November import number in context, so far in 2012 China has bought some $39 billion worth of gold. How many US Treasurys has China bought in the same time period? Under $10 billion.

Finally, let's not forget that recently China surpassed South Africa as the world's biggest producer of gold with annual output in the hundreds of tons. Add the net imports number to this total (which amounted to some 281 tons in 2012 according to Bloomberg) and one can get a sense of how big China's appetite for hard assets, instead of trillion dollar coin-backed "promises of repayment", has become.

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nobusiness's picture

Everyone is buying gold but the price is the same as it was august 2011?  Does supply and demand still work?

vast-dom's picture

in this new normal the less supply and greater demand = cheaper prices. thank you dr.'s bernank and krugman. it will work until it fails colossally. 

NotApplicable's picture

Between paper and tungsten, it's hard to discern any real price of gold.

vast-dom's picture

and trillion dollar coins. the fucktards must be eradicated. if only the earth opened up and swallowed DC...

Thomas's picture

Sure explains the surge in prices of gold and gold miners. Oh. Wait. Never mind. (Long gold since 1999)

boogerbently's picture

...PROOF of price manipulation.

Sovereigns spending BILLION$$$ on gold, and the price, rangebound.

Wait until they let it run, which they will, it's the ONLY way to profit from their investment.

Never One Roach's picture

Nixon tried price controls in the 1970s only to see those commodities skyrocket 300-400% when the controls were removed. Market forces always win in the long run.

markmotive's picture

meanwhile marc faber is predicting a 10% decline in gold


BaBaBouy's picture

PURE And SIMPLE ... The Chinee Are Importing REAL / SOLID Money.


Money That Stood The Test Of Time ... Like 8000 Years!


Unlike The Unlimited Paper Fiats Of Mr. Bernakie..

trav777's picture

who believes anything china says, tho?

Thisson's picture

If real interest rates go up, gold should decrease in price.  Will rates actually increase?  Who knows!

boogerbently's picture

That would follow. It is NOT a rational market. Otherwise gold would not decline due to the PERCEIVED "strenghtening dollar."

There are MILLIONS of morons in Treasuries, now, accepting the "safety" of negatve "real" returns. (less than inflation) While the stock market and gold have more than doubled off the bottom.

To put things in perspective, remember, the same sheep that vote, invest.

How many more will pile in if interest rates rise. (WOW, I can get 1/2 a percent per year....that's twice what we were getting before)

BUT, what will higher interest rates do to housing and business investment?


CJHames's picture

Dammit Thomas, if I've asked you once I've asked you a hundred times.  Can't you make your picture bigger??

(It's the little things in life that are important).

Badabing's picture

givitaway givitaway givitaway now

Vendetta's picture

Yeah... DC and some very specific spots in New York and a few other places where some big bank buildings stand.

DosZap's picture

Article I read said China is planning on doubling their gold reserves(not counting approx 450 tons they will mine in China ), in the next 2-3 yrs.

akak's picture

More Chinese blobbing-up!

First tiger penises and bear gall bladders, then silver, then tropical timber, then rare earth elements, now gold.

Same old story, same old citizenismistic overconsumptionalization.

Make me laugh.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

akak said:

Same old story, same old citizenismistic overconsumptionalization.

It follows vigourously. Chinese citizenism overconsumptionality nearly deterministic as a gravitatings field. Quantum blobs and crustilinearity coefficient are the mattering bits in the equations, proving the eternal nature of Chinese citizenism.

akak's picture

Yes, yes, three time yes.

The eternal algebraic coconutistic nature of Chinese citizenism inevitably leads to blobbing-up and overconsumptionalization of world resources, as only the rarest and costliest old-growth woods, endangered animal parts and precious metals can make much strong the inherently flaccid and teeny oriental winkie, needings strongish election of which is necessary for makings of many more aborted female fetuses to throw onto roadside lead-tainted garbage and nightsoil mountains of fabled Chinese past and present thusly.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Interesting thing to consider:  If they moved their gold reserves to a mere 10% of total, they would be at exactly 6200 tonnes.  

If they move to 70% of total, which is around what most of the money center countries are at (at least officially, lol), they would be at 43,400 tonnes.

ball-and-chain's picture

I've decided to sell all my gold.

I'm gonna use the money to make porno movies.

I shall soon be a star.

But I won't forget the little people.

I be keepin it real.

Temporalist's picture

Oh great!  I hope that means you'll stop spamming Zh.

Political_Savage's picture

Stop linking your damn blog - pathetic


Tsunami Wave's picture

What happened to your "fuck lloyd blankfein" blogspot page, I-Be-Julia?

drivenZ's picture

the effect of rising gold prices? rising gold supply. Which is going to keep rising at an ever faster pace since there is an obvious multi year lag between exploration and production. 


you don't even need new mines. You just lower cutoff grades in existing mines and voila. instant supply. 

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Makes sense.  Like, when I become less choosy about what food I eat, said food tends to become more nutritious.  oh wait

Temporalist's picture

Of course it makes sense.  Miners love spending more on fuel for lower output from degrading ore so they can have reduced revenue.

drivenZ's picture

no, but they love extending the life of their mines. Any good miner will lower cutoff grades. 

ParkAveFlasher's picture

I see - so miners are doing whatever they can to survive, but that may be an effect of low prices, not a cause.  Are you saying the miners are causing low prices by claiming a stretched out supply?  That would be part and parcel to the entire "tail wagging dog" meme, the tail being the pricing of future assumptions (supply stretched into the far future) and the dog being AGE's and stuff. 

+1 for enduring the immediate down arrow shitstorm cheerfully

trav777's picture

yes, which is why gold supply has gone UP UP UP since 2001.  Oh wait, no it hasn't.

Price doesn't make more gold appear by magic and lowering ore grades doesn't solve the energy problem nor obviate peak.

Otherwise iron in the US would never have peaked.  You'd just lower the cutoff...magic new supply!

Errol's picture

Same thing happened in the US in the 1970s - oil prices kept going up and US oil production kept declining.  Geologic limits are not amenable to jawboning.

Al Huxley's picture

The wonderful thing about gold is that (other than those damned Chinese) many of the buyers are just as happy with the paper version as the real version.  And while the real stuff is expensive to mine, and somewhat rare, the paper stuff turns out to be really easy to produce at essentially 0 cost, and has the virtue of being in unlimited supply. 

lunaticfringe's picture

I regret that I can only hit the up arrow once.

NotApplicable's picture

Zero costs? You're forgetting about the indirect costs in the form of the salaries of the army of sophists perpetuating the scam in the form of conventional wisdom.

Just the fact that Krugman and the NYT exists to generate this facade is a much higher cost than I'm willing to endure.

SamAdams's picture

Gold is clearly a bubble inflated by paranoid, right-wing extremists.  Only a fool would trade their hard earned paper for the barbaric yellow trinket. 

Truthfully yours,


CPL's picture

DEpends on the currency it's trading against.  Since the central banks all are harmonized since last year, literally corrected at the head, they all have to coordinate their FX versus the other currencies: 

  • Gold,
  • Silver,
  • Navel lint,
  • Bit coins,
  • Lumber,
  • Cigarettes
  • Things with value.

Tabacco is an international currency btw for those that don't realise.  Tabacco companies might sell poison, but their commodity is as transferable as money.  Better than, people will pay a premium for cancer sticks and everybody on the planet knows what they are.  Whether by addiction, novelity or general disgust.  Cigarettes are money.


Raymond Reason's picture

That would make electronic smokes the new currency.  Somewhat off topic.  Just watched the mini series Wold Without End, by Ken Follett.  Although slanted towards the author's biases, it gives a good peek into a crude economy.

CPL's picture

I'm familar with Ken Follett, he's a great author.  His books are too short and he takes too long to write.  lol

I would love to see though how System D is actually working in Greece.  Ken Follett does a great job of running down the framework though.  It would be a peak in time,because of the scale of it hasn't been seen in centuries.

Temporalist's picture

Thanks for sharing that.  I've been discussing System D for a while on ZH and other blogs but hadn't seen that.

Good luck to the central planners who want to eliminate cash and track every transaction.  System D will not have it.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Cash is indispensable to liberty and privacy.  They will not be able to eliminate System D, barter and cash transactions.  Same fro our gold and our guns.  Ain't gonna happen.

CPL's picture

System D just can't do it.  It's not built to do that.  It's built to supply immediate and available needs, not provide a just in time situation where warehousing stockpiles of stuff is important to feed the beast.  Although we do now with current infrastructure and technology.  All of that though is dependant on energy.  Cost to market would still reflect a sellers cost of getting a product somewhere.


It would however allow for different metrics defined by other options.  Like camel or donkey.  The seller knows what it costs to feed four legs with a mouth and their own time.  Anycase rambling...


An example.  You have two cartons of smokes.  All the vendors there are selling what you need and you've got money in that carton to barter, because everyone knows somewhere someone has the next carton coming off a line.  And the supply of "money" is eventually gone. It is money that self destructs.  neat huh.  Built in inflation controls, it even goes as far as kill it's owner if processed like it is today.

However the cigarette producers did themselves a great dis-service in elimating the other smokable herb as a competitor with the chemical manufacturing groups.  But let's be blunt, (nyuck nyuck nyuck) White and not White was part of the US history at that time.  So the tabbaco growers weren't particularily fond of the idea of doing business with the communites that have used and grown pot of thousands of year.

Had they merged as union of potable herbs, I believe the discussion of the war on drugs would be pointless.  Because that's what drugs are.  They are money.  That is another conversation altogether.

AccreditedEYE's picture

Exactly. Be left owning nothing and you will be OWNED.

Stuntgirl's picture

Cigarettes were my currency when travelling to Russia in the 90's...

I imagined their currency status would have waned by now.

CPL's picture

A Carton of Marlboro Reds is still the international 20 dollar bill.


Well maybe 50 now, it's been a while.

Tsunami Wave's picture

This damn country was built on sugar, cotton, and TOBACCO. Maybe moonshine too.

CPL's picture

Yes sir.  All independant with varible market values that were determined by the person buying the good and the seller, or sellers which is how things were mostly done.


Until someone forgot their wallet and needed to borrow a couple of bucks for a much needed commodity which opened the need for credit facilities like insurance companies like Lloyds under the British crown.  That's the actual reason why you and I aren't speaking spanish right now instead of Spain owning one end of south america to the north end.  It wasn't a war.

It was because they were Catholic.  Catholicism banned usury in every form.  Get caught doing it.  Excommunication for you and your family, and then primative doctors in filthy black smocks got to cut you apart to catelogue body parts in how that made them closer to God or some other horseshit.

England however didn't have that problem.  They solved their money troubles by inventing a bank with interest charges.  So did Holland and Germany.  That's how America was built, it was built on British credit.  Taxes though were obscene, they were nearly 11%!!  The nerve of people you've never met charging you 11% so you could get handed a wooden nickle for a day's labour and reall goods.  Who the fuck was England anyways!  You had the resources, they were an island (with a large navy), but you knew they eventually had to come off those boats for water that isn't recycled from piss and fresh food to keep the scabies and scurvy in the crew at bay.


Well you know the rest...

CPL's picture

Lol, that's an awesome story man. 

It's still done in Canada, at least in the Valley Seaway.  When I was a kid you could trade eight smokes for a gram of weed or a 40 pounder of weak/shitty moonshine or apple jack. 

With two packs of smokes you could haggle up a friday night party.  See if you could get some girls to hang out and share it all, being 16 was grand.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

You forgot liquor, dude.  Also, cocaine.