Chart Of The Day: China Imports Over 2,000 Tons Of Gold In Last Two Years

Tyler Durden's picture


China has just one thing to say to all those who engage in the now daily slamdowns of gold just around the time of the London fixing, after 8 am Eastern, which lately have gotten so vicious they have resulted in "stop logic" market halts not on one but at least two occasions, keeping the price of gold delightfully low for all those who instead of selling, are looking to buy: "thanks."

As the chart below shows, in the past two years since September 2011 (ironically the same month we wrote "Wikileaks Discloses The Reason(s) Behind China's Shadow Gold Buying Spree" namely that the PBOC was quietly seeking to make the renminbi the new gold-backed reserve currency) the mainland has imported an unprecedented 2,116 gross tons of gold from Hong Kong (in addition to the hundreds of tons produced domestically), for the first time crossing the 2k gross ton import barrier in a two year period!

Focusing on just the most recent import data for the month of August, seemingly unaware that all expert, hedge funds in the US have been "capitulating" on gold just because the momentum trade is no longer there, and because it somehow makes more sense to buy gold when the price is high rather than low, shows that China imported 131.4 gross tons of gold in the month, a 146% increase compared to a year prior, when the price of gold was substantially higher. Indeed, in a "shocking" turn of events, China actually buys more physical gold when the price is lower than higher. So much more, in fact, that August was the second highest gold importing month in history, lower only compared to March when it imported an unprecedented 223.5 tons.

But what about exports of gold, and China's net monthly gold needs. The chart below should answer that particular question. Net of gold export to Hong Kong, China imported 110.5 tons, the second highest net number in history, and second once again, only to March's 136.2 tons. Year to date, China has imported a gross 997 tons, and a net 741 tons. Since this accounts for just two-thirds of the year in the history books, on a gross and net basis, China will likely import over 1500 gross and over 1000 net tons for all of 2013: an absolutely stunning record in gold demand by just one nation.

Finally, putting all this feverish gold accumulation in perspective, here is the latest amount of official Chinese gold holdings as per the IMF. Incidentally, this is a number that has not been "updated" since April 2009.

The unofficial China gold holdings number since 2009 based on our internal calculations: about 2500 tons higher, which would make it the world's second largest official gold holder below the US and surpassing Germany, and rising at 100 tons per month.

Source: HK Census Dept

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Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:19 | 4049901 LawsofPhysics
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Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:24 | 4049924 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

they invented fiat, they know how it ends

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:34 | 4049951 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

All your house are belong to us.

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:35 | 4049956 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

And that's just the gold we know about.

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:55 | 4049984 The Thunder Child
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Hi Tylers,

Can you not use spaces in the file names of your charts, graphs and images please? It stops the ability to re-link them and spread the information people need to see. You have some of the best material, if adversly you would prefer people to re-upload to save your bandwidth could you let us know?



Sun, 10/13/2013 - 12:12 | 4050069 knukles
knukles's picture

Well, well, well...

Who's buyin' all the physical?
Who's sellin' all the paper to keep the price suppressed in order to make it look like everything's all OK?
The West
Were's the gold flowing from and to?
From West to East

Wonder what the buyers have as an agenda?

Well worth the read, folks.
A Watershed
The Formal Unveiling of the Currency Wars

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 12:43 | 4050144 LoneCapitalist
LoneCapitalist's picture

Three or four years ago, when Geitner was meeting with China several times, I remember thinking that he's making come kind of deal with China to keep them from dumping US bonds. Maybe the deal was that we would keep the price of gold suppressed so that they could stock up.

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 13:23 | 4050279 Conax
Conax's picture

After that meeting I read that Geithner's face was "white as a sheet".

'All your house are belong to us' indeed.

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 13:32 | 4050322 akak
akak's picture

The recent eternal nature of Chinese 'asian' gold blobbing-up is very much the mattering thing.

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 15:29 | 4050722 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Sorry Germany.....we still can't find your gold.


Maybe it's in the attic......did anyone think to check there?

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 22:08 | 4051711 Squid-puppets a...
Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

germany should buy replacement gold from china at $1300 and wait until the price is $20 000 to sue USA

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 23:09 | 4051825 TwoShortPlanks
TwoShortPlanks's picture

And it is at this time I would like to chime-in and quote:

"The last item on my list is the ‘Permanent Squeeze’. In my opinion, this single attribute of the Gold space dwarfs all others potentials added together, in its capacity to bring uplift to Physical Gold as an asset. If this squeeze ever occurs, and the global economy survives in one piece, the average human will never see more than a single ounce of Physical Gold, at one time, in one piece [in one location]. This is a world where Gold is so rare, that if you divide the rate of annual Gold production by the number of people on the planet, then it will take 65-75 years for each person to be able to accumulate just 1 ounce of physical Gold. So if all the above ground reserves are spoken for and securely vaulted, then Gold’s true value is almost unlimited. Every Gold investor needs to get their head around that simple scenario, because if the global markets do run out of physical within the coming years (especially so if the global economy continues to unwind), then you will need to need to understand this possibility so that you don’t sell if/when things get tight or painful."

Andrew Maguire on KWN:


Sun, 10/13/2013 - 23:29 | 4051853 Stuart
Stuart's picture

No doubt, China is now #2 on that list of nation's gold holdings.  Stupid round eyes.


Sat, 11/02/2013 - 15:51 | 4115700 Indian_Goldsmith
Indian_Goldsmith's picture

The chinks may have all that, but they haven't got me! ;)

Nor do they have the Gods (godless communists!)

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 12:59 | 4056530 matrix2012
matrix2012's picture

"Maybe it's in the attic......did anyone think to check there?"


I guess you did mean "in the Arctic"... have the Germans searched for their gold bars in the Arctic sea, beneath the frozen ice?

Sat, 11/02/2013 - 16:02 | 4115727 Indian_Goldsmith
Indian_Goldsmith's picture

What "frozen" ice? Besides, the Americans can credibly blame the russians later on...

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 16:31 | 4050886 Cheese Potpourri
Cheese Potpourri's picture

I believe this is absolutely correct.  Giving the Chinese direct access to the Treasury market, bypassing Wall Street's cut of the action, was a big clue.  The system has managed to stay afloat on back room deals and they will continue.  This is how the world works.  Very little of what matters is out in the open, until recently, and it is still limited.  There is an arrangement with the Chinese, you can bet on it.  They are shrewd and our boys are just slick.  This is all headed in one direction, and that is East.

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 15:34 | 4050746 Cacete de Ouro
Cacete de Ouro's picture

It's easy to get this data from the HK trade websites.
ps: the Eurostat export data to HK is also quite interesting...

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 17:59 | 4051071 TheFourthStooge-ing
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The Thunder Child asked:

Can you not use spaces in the file names of your charts, graphs and images please? It stops the ability to re-link them and spread the information people need to see.

Substitute %20 for each space.

Just tryin' to help.

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 04:50 | 4052100 TheRedScourge
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^ What he said ^

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 07:45 | 4351045 shawnmike
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Hi Tylers, Can you not use spaces in the file names of your charts, graphs and images please? It stops the ability to re-link them and spread the information people milan leather jackets need to see. You have some of the best material, if adversly you would prefer people to re-upload to save your bandwidth could you let us know? Thanks!

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:46 | 4049989 max2205
max2205's picture

Who verified those US holding.....who's on second

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:52 | 4050002 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Combine China's "declared" reserves with their unknown stash and add in the fact that they actively encourage their population to purchase Gold and you have a rather large pile of precious.

<Then subtract USA/Fed Gold leases/sales from the "known" USA reserves and, soon enough, you will have panic in the reserve currency.>

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 12:26 | 4050112 knukles
knukles's picture

Thank you (and God) for sane comments

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 14:11 | 4050483 SWRichmond
Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:19 | 4049906 Al Huxley
Al Huxley's picture

And the criminal fucking traitors to Western society at the BIS and the bullion banks keep giving it away to them.  Hope they're held accountable for their treason by the new regime, even if it's just a sop to placate the angry mobs.

In this year, before Christmas, king Henry sent from Normandy to England, and commanded that all the moneyers that were in England should be deprived of their members; that was the right hand of each, and their testicles beneath. That was because the man that had a pound could not buy for a penny at a market. And the bishop Roger of Salisbury sent over all England, and commanded them all that they should come to Winchester at Christmas. When they came thither they were taken one by one, and each deprived of the right hand and the testicles beneath. All this was done within the twelve nights; and that was all with great justice, because they had fordone all the land with their great quantity of false money which they all bought.


Cover your nuts and hide your right hands you fuckers.

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:41 | 4049978 Jannn
Jannn's picture

Hong kong is just one entrance point for the mainland. In total China net import is 1033 tons YTD:

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:50 | 4049999 Buckaroo Banzai
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"During the relatively long reign of King Henry I (1100–1135) the penny remained the chief denomination, although round halfpennies and quarter pennies were introduced [these are mentioned in contemporary accounts] which proved very unpopular and only about twelve specimens (of halfpence, and no round quarters)) are known to exist today. Fifteen major types of penny were produced, at around 54 mints which were intermittently active throughout the reign. The quality of the coins in the early part of the reign was poor, as the moneyers made a large profit by producing underweight coins or coins of debased fineness. In 1124 Henry called all 150 moneyers to Winchester and called them to account for their activities — 94 of them were convicted of issuing sub-standard coins and were mutilated, their right hands and one testicle being cut off, as a result of which the quality of coins improved for most of the remainder of his reign."–1154)

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 12:37 | 4050126 AL_SWEARENGEN

Did they teach us this little story in history or economics?  Not that I can recall.  Many would have understood fundamentals of money.  And earlier on, to their own benefit. 

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 01:27 | 4051978 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

That'll teach 'em!!

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:22 | 4049909 old naughty
old naughty's picture

Why do they keep the price low so China can buy more at low?

It doesn't make any sense...

or does it?

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:38 | 4049961 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Could the west be planning on somehow squeezing China credit wise and having an opportunity to buy it back cheap? Militarily taking it back like in WWII is not an option.

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:50 | 4050006 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

"Could the west be planning on somehow squeezing China credit wise and having an opportunity to buy it back cheap? Militarily taking it back like in WWII is not an option."

The US and the west generally are running a scam that involves passing off paper money as good money. Part of the scam is to make gold look bad so no one will want it, everyone will want the paper.

Anyone who sees through the scam can take advantage of it to buy gold cheap. But that won't do them much good as long as the scam is working and gold stays cheap. But someone who takes the long view, like a national government, can afford to plan for 10, 20, 50 years ahead.

This is not new. The savvy guys who frequent this board know Nixon slammed the gold window shut in the early 70s and stopped gold sales from the US treasury. A few know the reason, which was that the Bank of France was buying American gold for American dollars at such a rate, that Fort Knox would have been empty in another 2 years if he hadn't.

What almost nobody knows, is that the Bank of France was buying the gold for the North Vietnamese using US dollars they gleaned out of South Vietnam's black markets and drug sales to GIs. The gold then went from North Vietnam to Communist China to pay for the weapons Ho Chi Minh was using against US troops.

In China the Vietnam war was yesterday and they will plan ahead 100 years for a boiled egg.

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 12:05 | 4050053 rlouis
rlouis's picture

FR buying gold for NV to buy arms from China - very interesting - one of those 'stranger than WTF theories ...' that could very easily be true. 

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 16:02 | 4050814 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

Except it the was the Russians supplying the NVA. North Viet Nam hated the Chinese. They even had a military clash in 1979.

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 16:47 | 4050911 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

The Vietnamese fought against the French to free their country until the French left in 1954.

Then they fought against the Americans until the Americans left in 1974.

Then their Chinese allies started throwing their weight around until they threw them out

Then their Russian allies etc etc.

Are you beginning to see a trend here?

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 14:33 | 4053266 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

Telling me what I already know does not make my post wrong. I stand by what I said.

Tue, 10/15/2013 - 13:58 | 4056821 matrix2012
matrix2012's picture

During the war against USA, Vietnam had both USSR and China as its supporter, so what Diogenes posted still make sense

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:57 | 4050035 chemystical
chemystical's picture



Japan took most of that, and much of it was hidden in the Phillipines as a hedge against the impending Allied/US invasion of Japan.  The Phillipines gold was reportedly the source of the Marcos' vast wealth. 

And wtf is Moochelle going to do with 2000 pairs of shoes?  It's not as if they're made of Spandex to cover her cankles like her stretch pants cover her fat arse.

* note to the NSA: give me a pass because you know that you laughed

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:39 | 4049975 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

The fed does it so that nothing can usurp the FRN as the global currency. Gold is "barbaric" donchaknow? Money has two uses: Ubiquitous utility and saving of value. They have fucked up the latter, and the former is hanging by the thread of fantasy, oil, propaganda and mass ignorance. 

It's why if you mint gold coins in America to use as money, you get a one way ticket to the local prison. Ask Saddam, & Gaddafi how asking payments in gold for oil turned out for them. When you eventually come to the inescapable conclusion that criminals are in charge of the money supply, the convoluted push and pull of geopolitical bullshit becomes a little easier to decipher.

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:50 | 4049997 Nothing but the...
Nothing but the truth.'s picture

So in fact the Fed are playing right into Chinas hands by manipulating PM prices - the Renminbi will shortly take centre stage on the world's currency markets and all the Fed's futile defending will have been in vain. And Germany's gold holdings ( under the care of the US at Fort Knox ) may be nowhere near the amount they lodged there way back.

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:55 | 4050036 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

"So in fact the Fed are playing right into Chinas hands by manipulating PM prices - the Renminbi will shortly take centre stage on the world's currency markets and all the Fed's futile defending will have been in vain. And Germany's gold holdings ( under the care of the US at Fort Knox ) may be nowhere near the amount they lodged there way back."

By the time the shit house blows sky high the political pimps and their criminal friends will be long gone, kicking back on their private beaches on the islands they bought with your money.

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 12:46 | 4050154 Gordon Freeman
Gordon Freeman's picture

"Renminbi will shortly take centre stage on the world's currency markets"

If only you could appreciate what an absurd statement that is...Have you ever fucking been to China??  Even the Chinese want dollars...

Any hypothetical realignment is (at best) decades away.

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 13:38 | 4050342 Nothing but the...
Nothing but the truth.'s picture

And have you seen China's GDP or noticed that they are desperate to bypass the dollar , having struck deals with Russia,Australia and the EU to pay in renminbi ? China decidely wants to move away ( like many others ) dealing in US $.  What's going to fucking China got to do with anything with the argument anyway ? You're fucking head is buried in the sand bro.

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 13:40 | 4050349 akak
akak's picture

Have you ever fucking been to Detroit, or Cleveland, or East Philly, or Newark, or Watts, or St. Louis, or .... ?

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 17:45 | 4051042 Greater Fool Theory
Greater Fool Theory's picture

Yes, I have f**king been to China.

Lived there for a while in fact.

And they don't want dollars.  

They want gold.

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 02:28 | 4052026 PP
PP's picture

no one in China want US dollar, 4 reasons:

1, Hate US government (not American people)

2, Lots of Currency exchange restriction, very inconvenient holding USD

3, Everyone knows USD is depreciating due to FED (called Mei Lian Chu in Chinese)

4, If you hold USD (especially gov staff) it seems that you are bribed by International company

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:52 | 4050004 ShorTed
ShorTed's picture

Perhaps it's China themselves helping their buying binge by orchestrating the daily slamdowns...just sayin'.

The object is to buy low, right?

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 12:25 | 4069150 Ek Onkar
Ek Onkar's picture

There is no US or China for tptb.. Now that they have devoured  the west and hollowed the carcass out, they are moving onto their next pot of honey. Though, before they start feasting, they are propping it up, making it healthy and supple, ready for the feast.

Sun, 10/13/2013 - 11:23 | 4049910 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

2,000 tons...that we know about.

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