Name The New Reserve Currency: China Imports More Gold In 2012 Than All ECB Holdings

Tyler Durden's picture

The last time we looked at monthly Chinese imports of gold from Hong Kong in 2012, the comparable country in question was Portugal (whose citizens, if not central bank, incidentally have run out of gold to sell), because that is whose total gold holdings (at 382.5 tons) Chinese imports had just surpassed. Fast forward a month later, and the update is even more disturbing. In July, Chinese gold imports from HK, after two months of declines, have picked up once more and hit a 3-month high of 75.8 tons. While it is notable that this number is double the 38.1 tons imported a year prior, and that year-to-date imports are now a record 458.6 tons, well over four times greater than the seven month total in 2011 which was 103.9 tons, what is far more important is that in the first seven months of 2012 alone China has imported nearly as much gold as the total holdings of the hedge fund at the heart of the Eurozone, elsewhere known simply as the European Central Bank, and just as importantly considering the import run-rate has hardly slowed down in August, which data we will have in a few weeks, it is now safe to say that in 2012 alone China has imported more gold than the ECB's entire official 502.1 tons of holdings.

What is most amusing is that China, via the IMF, still wants the world to believe that total Chinese official holdings are just 1040 tons (double the ECB's), when it has imported half this amount in 2012 alone.

As a reminder, the last time China gave an update of its official gold holdings was in April for 2009. This means China has been aggressively hoarding gold for the past three and a half years without issuing an official peep about where its inventory stands now.

Luckily, those who keep track of the newsflow have some idea.

As an even more important reminder, in December 2009, the China Youth Daily quoted State Council advisor Ji as saying that a team of experts from Beijing and Shanghai have set up a "task force" last year to consider growing China's gold reserves. "We suggested that China's gold reserves should reach 6,000 tons in the next 3-5 years and perhaps 10,000 tons in 8-10 years," the paper quoted him. Has China managed to accumulated 6,000 tons yet? We won't know for sure until the official disclosure which will come when China is ready and not a moment earlier, but at the current run-rate of accumulation which is just shy of 1,000 tons per year, it is certainly within the realm of possibilities that China is now the second largest holder of gold in the world, surpassing Germany's 3,395 tons and second only to the US.

Going back to the "important things", here is another one: in all of 2012, according to Treasury International Capital flow data, China has increased its Treasury holdings from $1,151.9 billion as of December 31, 2011 to just $1164.3 billion: a total increase of just $12.4 billion in 6 months: the slowest run-rate since China started to recycle in budget surplus into US paper.

Whether this dramatic slowdown (and no, China is no longer rerouting purchases via the UK whose holdings have, unlike prior years, hardly budged in 2012) is due to a plunge in the Chinese trade surplus due to the ever more obvious Chinese hard landing, and the lack of recyclable dollars, is unknown and largely irrelevant. What is known, and what is relevant, is that at Friday's closing price 458.6 tons of gold translates into over $25 billion worth of gold imports.

For the first time in history China has imported twice as much gold as it has "imported" US Treasurys.

But most importantly, and perhaps tying it all together, is what the deputy director of the Chinese central bank, the PBOC, said overnight at a conference in Xiamen. What he said is that the financial crisis has shaken confidence in the U.S. dollar. We knew that. What he added is that
the sound performance of China’s economy during the crisis boosted demand for yuan. This was also more or less known, although with the Yuan peg it is somewhat difficult to determine objectively. It is what he said last that is most important: "The financial crisis that started in 2008 has provided China with a good opportunity to promote the yuan as a global currency."

A global currency that is now backed by the second largest hoard of gold in the world, and targeting to be over 10,000 tons in a few years, and is supported by the fastest growing "developing" economy in the world, $14 trillion in deposits rising at an exponential pace, and well over one billion in population.

Can anyone guess which currency is next in line of succession:

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BigJim's picture

Annual production is, what, 2600 tonnes or thereabouts?

So I don't see how the quantities discussed here are particularly spectacular.

Tyler Durden's picture

Because Chinese imports via HK are just one transmission channel, one which btw we know about only because HK keeps track of the data. There is no comparable data series on the mainland. China knows this. The question is not what China is doing: everyone knows they are hoarding gold. The question is what China is telegraphing.

BigJim's picture

LOL, that'll teach me to comment before I've fully absorbed the contents of the article :-/

GetZeeGold's picture



Just buy dore under the radar.


....hold the tungsten.


Pladizow's picture

Tylers & BigJim:

You also forgot to subtract the gold that is mined within both Russia & China from the 2600 tonnes, which never makes it to the international market.

So remove from the 2600 tonnes another 400-500 tonnes, so globally available mined gold is closer to 2000 tonnes.

Now you will see that just from the Chineese published numbers, every month they are importing nearly half of the available global mine supply.

Why China is buying gold? -

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

ZERO HEDGE recently published an article on how Italians are turning in their gold because they have no "money".  This story is TRUE!  I have taken pictures and have committed a "random act of journalism" all of which I will put up at my blog later.  As I have no safe computer nor flash drive, the details will have to wait until our return, but you can see a short comment below:

BaBaBouy's picture

Well, the evidence is beginning to roll in slowly.

Like Keep Saying, the Chinee, the Indians Russians etc know whats happening.

They are Constantly Adding to their physical GOLD reserves.

I suspect they are buying up all Physical GOLD available,

just up to the point where the prices would begin to soar.

Meanwhile, Physica/Digital/Virtual Fiats will continue to PRINT and  ROT.


Remember, it takes a computer keystroke to multiply $1 Trillion to $100 Trillion,

Try That with Physical GOLD...


The Train is Rolling... Eventual GOLD $50K...

hedgeless_horseman's picture



China's Gold River, the Yangtze, is running in the red...


We humans are such poor stewards of our living space.  

This afternoon...  

I am going to go on a two hour trail run.

I am going to take my wife.

I am going to listen to her breath and footfalls, not some iGadget.

I am going to watch her arms swing and legs stride.

I am going to see all of one structure and two dirt roads.

I am going to wear the huaraches I made myself, not some Nikes made in China.

I am going to drink clean water from my own well on my own property.

I am going to thank God for all of this and for the small fact that I do not look out my window at a blood red river.

q99x2's picture

The rivers have turned to blood. Repent the end is near.

strannick's picture

Hilariously, the top three gold holders, US, Germany, IMF, are probably all the same gold, ie. German and IMF gold in the US. This gold meanwhile is unaudited, leased and otherwise gone.

bob_dabolina's picture

Eh, looks more like carrot juice to me.

Hulk's picture

We are a rapacious, short sighted species HH. very sad to see this thing, even if its simply red clay runoff from poor construction or bad farming techniques...

Real Estate Geek's picture

Not to minimize China's environmental catastrophes, but the red is a bad photoshop job.  Check out the pictures in the Daily Mail.  In the one where one guy's holding up a bottle of red water, the other guy's arm is photoshopped red.

Short Memories's picture

Hope your well on your property is not near any LNG fracking ;)

matrix2012's picture

Few years ago the redness was also captured at the shore of Bohai Sea in Panjin city, southwest of Liaoning


falak pema's picture

do they have a better telegraphing signal than the old Apache smoke columns? 

I wonder if the west understands their smoke and mirrors? 

On this issue of reserve currency status I think the energy thread and the money thread are now distending fast. Two vital ingredients of PAx Americana hegemony.

And this is problematic for the USD. If, as ZH has pointed out, the operation twist is now showing a cumulative 70%+ UST are owned by FED, its ability to QE bigtime (1Trillion outlay of monetisation) is hampered. As is further operation twist's ability to substitute ST bonds for LT bond purchases.

If on top of this, the marginal cost of new oil is 90 USD+, then the oil monarchies may become more and more reluctant to buy UST as reserve monopoly currency. Which means the market for UST will narrow even further...No China, no Petromonarchies...what does BEn Do???

How does he levitate WS stocks for his paymasters?

moonstears's picture

falak, interesting point, that the dollar has no master but the USFedGov, cannot twist just absorb 95% of the UST paper, 100% if need be? You're gonna say it's not right, but the point is not SHOULD they, but COULD they. Yes, methinks, Sir.

falak pema's picture

If you hit the 100% asymptote you lose all credibility. The Emperor is so naked that even the kiddie says : wow! I can see his pee pee! 

Seriously, those ZH graphics showed us that in 2003 the private sector owned 80% of UST; and look at it now!

centerline's picture

Easy to see who the bagholders are.  This is why the Fed was built to be dismantled.  Neat trick huh?

Kind of like me moving in with you, getting power of attorney, maxing out all your credit cards (benefits of the purchases going elsewhere), and then you get angry and kick me out.

falak pema's picture

...FED built to be dismantled....

I don't think so. It'll take a hard man to dismantle the FED!

Fed goes, usd reserve status goes, US economy tanks as the floor planks cave in. Below its dire fall to foggy bottom. 

You don't want even to consider that scenario when you are US oligarch, playing your harp while Rome's poor burn.

Fire in my palace? Never! 

The FED shareholders are the scions of oligarchy rule as they control the money line of USA Big Corp. Inc.

They own globalisation. 

centerline's picture

I disagree.  They are too public.  That is just the front.  The power behind the scenes owes no alligiance to any country.  The dismantling of the Fed is the mechanism by which the ensuing currency disaster will be blamed on the politicians and people.

The US has been getting slowly dismantled for decades.  It is Rome, rotting from within.  Palaces get moved.

Can you hear the cries for "end the Fed!" getting louder.  That is ironically both right and wrong playing out.  It is  anticipated in my opinion.

Bring the Gold's picture

Absolutely spot on. The real power has been at the BIS for 90+ years and even THAT is a front for private parties. I've long said Goldman, JPM and even the FED can all be sacrificed on the altar of public perception if it means ushering in the NWO one world currency.

Even if you don't like Ellen Brown there are "acceptable to the businessman" sources out there that actually show that the BIS runs the show.

4horse's picture

BtG. yes. The BIS

their WorldWide instrument


great post: And that is where the conspiracy theorists come in. Why did the BIS not retract or at least modify Basel II after seeing the devastation it had caused? Why did it sit idly by as the global economy came crashing down? Was the goal to create so much economic havoc that the world would rush with relief into the waiting arms of the BIS with its privately-created global currency?


Cry Havoc! and let slip . . .





matrix2012's picture

"...Even if you don't like Ellen Brown"


Just try to read following book: "The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century", Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall (Editors)


I believe this is a GREAT BOOK to help one understand the world's affairs & problems from the holistic view, not only the current ones but perhaps of the last one or two centuries!


Preface Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall




Chapter 1 The Global Economic Crisis: An Overview Michel Chossudovsky

Chapter 2 Death of the American Empire Tanya Cariina Hsu

Chapter 3 Financial Implosion and Economic Stagnation John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff

Chapter 4 Depression: The Crisis of Capitalism James Petras

Chapter 5 Globalization and Neoliberalism: Is there an Alternative to Plundering the Earth? Claudia von Werlhof

Chapter 6 The Economy’s Search for a “New Normal” Shamus Cooke



Chapter 7 Global Poverty and the Economic Crisis Michel Chossudovsky

Chapter 8 Poverty and Social Inequality Peter Phillips



Chapter 9 War and the Economic Crisis Michel Chossudovsky

Chapter 10 The "Dollar Glut" Finances America's Global Military Build-Up Michael Hudson

Chapter 11 Martial Law, the Financial Bailout and War Peter Dale Scott

Chapter 12 Pentagon and Intelligence Black Budget Operations Tom Burghardt

Chapter 13 The Economic Crisis “Threatens National Security” in America Bill Van Auken

Chapter 14 The Political Economy of World Government Andrew Gavin Marshall



Chapter 15 Central Banking: Managing the Global Political Economy Andrew Gavin Marshall

Chapter 16 The Towers of Basel: Secretive Plan to Create a Global Central Bank Ellen Brown

Chapter 17 The Financial New World Order: Towards A Global Currency Andrew Gavin Marshall

Chapter 18 Democratizing the Monetary System Richard C. Cook



Chapter 19 Wall Street’s Ponzi Scheme Ellen Brown,

Chapter 20 Securitization: The Biggest Rip-off Ever Mike Whitney





And remember about EUSTACE MULLINS too.

He's the author of many great books, among others: “The Secrets of the Federal Reserve” (1952), "Secrets of the Federal Reserve: The London Connection" (1993); "The World Order, A Study in the Hegemony of Parasitism" (1985); "The Great Betrayal: The General Welfare Clause of the Constitution" (1991) and many others!


Or, "The Creature from Jekyll Island, 5th Edition" (2010) by G. Edward Griffin

Unfiltered News - Current | Compiled by G. Edward Griffin And another work of Ellen Brown Web of Debt - How Banks And The Federal Reserve Are Bankrupting The Planet... EXPLODING THE MYTHS ABOUT MONEY By Ellen Hodgson Brown Our money system is not what we have been led to believe. The creation of money has been "privatized," or taken over by private money lenders. Thomas Jefferson called them “bold and bankrupt adventurers just pretending to have money.” Except for coins, all of our money is now created as loans advanced by private banking institutions — including the privately-owned Federal Reserve. Banks create the principal but not the interest to service their loans. To find the interest, new loans must continually be taken out, expanding the money supply, inflating prices — and robbing you of the value of your money.


matrix2012's picture

few handy links to uphold some bold statements here:

"They own globalisation"

   "BIS = Bank of International Settlements" --> the Central Bank of Central Banks

            ==> the Worldwide Instruments


-Gary Allen's classic book "None Dare Call It Conspiracy" and other valuable refs -

-Andrew Hitchcock's masterpiece of the World 2.5-Century Timeline, "The History of the House..." - or its terser .ppt version:

-Amanita's "Bilderberg Conference 2010: watch out!" -

-A Super Chart that will give you some good ideas on how the world is managed, how far the their power reaches to individuals, institutions, corporations, mass media, broadcasts -

Or a 'more scientific' though much shallower chart, "Who Runs the World" -

-Dr. Carroll Quigley’s book: "Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World In Our Time" -

-W. Cleon Skousen's "The Naked Capitalist", a companion guideline to above Quigley’s work -

Skousen’s book is highly recommended because it helps one understand the more salient issues Quigley has documented and puts Quigley’s monstrosity in perspective. Skousen helps the reader to comprehend what Quigley has written and discern Quigley’s biases.



matrix2012's picture

falak pema or anyone else, can you pinpoint me to the ZH link showing us that in 2003 the private sector owned 80% of UST? thanks


at FP, 

+100 worthy analysis!

matrix2012's picture

   falak perma: "Seriously, those ZH graphics showed us that in 2003 the private sector owned 80% of UST; and look at it now!"


some interesting reading with regard to above statement:


Fed Trapped By Its Long-Duration Portfolio

Russ Winter, 2012-08-16­-by-its-long-dur...

"The Fed has to at least maintain the facade of being able to respond to market conditions and, if necessary, sell securities (called reverse repos) from its portfolio [Author's CORRECTION:  I have a correction to the piece. In the first sentence I feel the Fed will need to sell securities in permanent operations, not just reverse repos. RR will be inadequate.] The Fed currently has virtually no short-term holdings that it could simply allow to mature without rolling over. It would have to dig into its long-duration portfolio. If rates had been pushed higher in a credit or inflation revulsion, they could face serious losses."

"If you bought a 10-year "risk off" Treasury two weeks ago at 1.4% yield, you would not only have to wait 18 years to hit your retirement target, but you would have lost 6 1/2% in principle in just two weeks. That's four years of coupons. Retirement age in America is now moved to four years after death. The following chart shows the savings rates necessary to reach retirement target under Bernanke's Zero Interest Rate Policy regime."


"A time lapse chart showing Fed taking over bond market. It is hard for me to envision that the Fed owns much of anything in the way of "bargains" since almost everything was bought during the last three years of low coupons. Does this seem like a well functioning system (sistema)? They are trapped."

Fed vs. Private Sector Treasury Holdings



Bobbyrib's picture

After reading the entire article, I am convinced that the US government will institute a gold confiscation scheme for "the betterment of the country as a whole." Seeing China import the amount of gold at the rate it has, leads me to believe that to be "competitve"the US government will want to increase its gold holdings. What better way to do it then to rob your citizens of their property while giving them "market value?" That is how Ben could compete with the Chinese to make sure the US continues to receive oil.

lasvegaspersona's picture

Confiscation was done when gold was still actual official money. In our current situation there is not a lot of it in easy to get hands.

It will work out OK for the USG to just have gold flowing in its zone. That is what China seems to be doing by encouraging its people to hold gold.

Aside from the tons in GLD which is easy to get where would they get more? Everyone I know buys but then gambles it away or carelessly looses it.

Bobbyrib's picture

Thanks to certain legislation that has been passed and electronic transactions, I suspect the government knows of thousands of people who own PM's.

Bring the Gold's picture

There is always the possibility of confiscation. Gold, food, guns, land, people of interest sent to camps. This has always been a possibility since the begining of time. Look for ETF's and large gold storage units to be looted first then you can get worried. In the meantime enjoy the freedom we do have and love your family/friends and enjoy whats left of the way things were. Things are changing rapidly and it will be coming to a town near you soon enough. Prep if that's your deal, but make sure you spend time enjoying life too. What's the point of prepping and agonizing all the time if you can't love life now and then?

Midas's picture

I guess they could start with Mr. T.

matrix2012's picture

who's your Mr. T here, Midas? LoL

greggh99's picture

"What better way to do it then to rob your citizens of their property"

Nationalizing the mines is a much better, more effective, and easier way, than raiding everyone's safe deposit boxes. As if anyone in the US has physical gold anymore in the first place.

HedgeHammer's picture

Medicine Man here at Navajo Indian Reservation with BREAKING NEWS REPORT.


TP vandalism on rise...

Local Casino robbed again late last night. Report says a masked white man accompanied by an engine held up the place by gun point. Last seen riding off into the sunset on horseback one pure White Stallion and one Palameno. Also this just in, reports are coming in about the two strangers as they where leaving the Casino people could here one of the thieves say, as they rode off into the sunset, Hi Oh SILVER AWAAAAAAAAY.

We believe the two bandits are working with the PBOC in an effort to secretly increase their gold holdings.

Major unprecedented financial storm coming to a country near you.

Buffalo, Corn, and Flour prices are on the rise with no relief in site.

The Sovereign Indian Nation says no to Bernake's request that we purchase US Bonds...

That conclude our breaking news report Live at Five.  MORE SMOKE AT ELEVEN.

Marco's picture

I don't understand why people blame Bernanke or even Greenspan ... the US trade deficit started with Nixon and became politically impossible to stop internally soon after. Bernanke and Greenspan just kept the ball rolling for as long as foreigners were willing to play ball (at gunpoint of the US military, fooled into buying in into US bubbles or otherwise). The alternative being economic collapse (due to price inflation of oil and all the knock on effects thereof).

Anyone with half a brain could see since the 80s or 90s that the dollar was going to default sooner or later and they still accumulated it, what has fundamentally changed since then? They might draw a line in the sand, but it's a completely arbitrary line which has little to do with the marginal cost of new oil ... a line they should have drawn 30 years ago.

Bastiat's picture

Nixon was doomed before he took office:   look to Johnson with Vietnam and the Great Society if you want to see where we headed for fiscal cliff. 

Marco's picture

The level of wellfare is really an orthogonal issue ... Sweden (or ZH's great inspiration Iceland for that matter) doesn't go off the fiscal cliff because of wellfare.

WeAreJellyfish's picture

Telegraphing is like throwing a rock in a pond and betting on the kind of waves it will make.

What is so funny about the nagging Tylers comment is all China is doing is holding it's cards close to it's chest. Like all the boating accidents with Gold & Silver - it is none of YOUR fucking business (I keep forgetting folks here know nothing of running businesses - they just feed off em).

Ever read an article an article on ZH? THAT is telegraphing.

Eally Ucked's picture

So what is your message to us ooh Great Master of business? "nagging Tylers comment" telling us that China holds cards close to its chest, we know that and?

Are you trying to tell us that ZH article is telegraphing some messages from China or their own message to hoard gold because they have vested interest in it? So what is it?

BTW, throwing rock into a pond causes always the same outcome and you dont have to bet on it unless you have different idea, want to bet on it?

Bay of Pigs's picture

Too obvious. Pretty sure this is another poster/troll just using a different handle. After a few years around here you learn to spot writing styles and language patterns.

Spitzer's picture

The Eurozone as a whole (10,000+ tons) has more gold then the US treasury (8000 tons) and the FED has NO GOLD.

WeAreJellyfish's picture

I am not the one hiding.

It is Tyler and his bullshit manipulation of dishonestness.

Fukin faggit claims to fight yet can't even show his face and naggin slaves here worship his unaccountability and access to and interpretation of the deepest corruption humanity has reeked.

You dumbmutherfrikinnagginslavetomoney.

Look in the mirror and say "I am spineless"

The truth will set you free.

PhilofOz's picture

Lead us, glorious leader! We obviously need a white knight with a spine that we can all see, to be hero worshipped.

Bay of Pigs's picture

Anger Management issues? Wow dude, you need to calm down.

Tyler(s) and ZH are not the enemy from what I can see and discern.

vast-dom's picture

you can also revise down the other nation's holdings of gold on the above chart. China wants gold to remain cheap so mum's the word or the exact opposite of driving a shiny ass fancy car with zero savings.

THX 1178's picture

The question is what China is telegraphing.

A Gold-backed Yuan?