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Gold Market Charts

Posted on 4 Dec 2017 by BullionStar

Gold Market Charts – November

BullionStar's monthly 'Gold Market Charts' articles examine recent developments in the world's largest physical gold markets using graphical gold charts created by the GOLD CHARTS R US market chart website. The physical gold markets covered include India, China, Russia and Switzerland and where relevant, the COMEX gold futures vault inventories.

Note additionally that BullionStar's website also hosts gold and silver price charts under the BullionStar Charts menu, which also allows you to chart currencies, commodities, stock indices and Bitcoin in terms of gold and other precious metals.

SGE Gold Withdrawals

Physical gold withdrawals from the vaults of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) during October 2017 reached 151.54 tonnes. SGE gold withdrawals are a suitable proxy for Chinese wholesale gold demand due to the fact that nearly all gold supply in the Chinese gold market makes its way through the SGE vaulting network to be traded on the SGE's gold trading platform.

Shanghai Gold Exchange Gold Withdrawals (in tonnes), October 2017. Source: www.GoldChartsRUs.com

For the 10 months from January to October 2017 inclusive, cumulative gold withdrawals from the SGE have now reached 1656 tonnes. On an annualised basis, this would be 1987 tonnes, and would be the third highest year of SGE gold withdrawal activity on record.

SGE Gold Withdrawals 151.54 tonnes, October 2017. Source: SGE Data Highlights October 2017.

Chinese and Indian Gold Demand (CHINDIA)

The regularly featured chart below of combined Chinese and Indian gold demand captures  a gold demand estimate from the world's two largest gold consuming nations. The methodology of the chart data takes the latest month's SGE gold withdrawals as a proxy for Chinese wholesale gold demand, and to this figure adds total reported gold holdings of the Chinese central bank. This is because the People's Bank of China sources gold from other supplies sources independent of the SGE. Since India sources nearly all of its gold demand from abroad, net gold imports (imports - exports) into India are used as a proxy for total Indian gold demand.

For the month of September, CHINDIA gold demand is estimated to have been 253.1 tonnes. This comprised 214.24 tonnes of Chinese wholesale gold demand (SGE gold withdrawals), and 38.8 tonnes from net official gold imports into India.

Chinese and Indian Gold (CHINDIA) to September 2017. Source: www.GoldChartsRUs.com

For September 2017, there was zero contribution to CHINDIA gold demand from the Chinese central bank demand. This is because since October 2016, the Chinese authorities have not reported any changes to their official gold reserves, and Chinese state gold reserves remain (at least according to the official data) at 1842 tonnes. The following chart of monthly changes to official Chinese state gold holdings illustrates this lack of change in Chinese gold holdings since October 2016.

Chinese central bank gold holdings to October 2017. Source: www.GoldChartsRUs.com

Russian Gold Reserves

During October 2017, the Russian Federation through the Bank of Russia added 21.8 tonnes to its official gold reserves. This addition brought the total gold reserves of the Russian central bank to 1801 tonnes. On a year-to-date basis, the Russians have officially added 186 tonnes to their gold reserves and are on target to add a total of about 200 tonnes of gold to Russian central bank reserves during 2017.

Bank of Russia Gold Reserves

At 1801 tonnes, the Bank of Russia's gold reserves are now nearly on a par with those of the Chinese central bank (which holds 1842 tonnes). See recent BullionStar article "Neck and Neck: Russian and Chinese Official Gold Reserves" for full details of the nearly identical size of current official Russian and Chinese gold reserves.

The nature of Russian and Chinese central bank gold figures could give the impression that these 2 central banks are competitors in the gold market. However, the reality is that they should be seen more so as collaborators due to the fact that Russia and China, along with other BRIC nations, are now actively cooperating on a joint trading system to link their gold markets. See recent BullionStar blog "Russia, China and BRICS: A New Gold Trading Network" for full details.

Transparent Gold Holdings and Gold Price

The gold price in US Dollars continued to trade in a very tight trading range during November, fluctuating within the US$ 1270 and US$ 1290 range. The price trend was generally upwards as the month progressed, with the price approaching the US$ 1300 level a number of times, but not being able to breach this zone.

The US Dollar gold price finished the month at the US$ 1280 level. It remains to be seen whether the US$ 1300 range can be successfully surpassed for any length of period during the remainder of the year.

Gold Price in USD, 01 - 30 November 2017. Source: www.bullionstar.com charts.

The last few weeks have seen net inflows of gold into the group of transparent gold products and platforms that publish their gold holdings on a regular basis. This group includes gold-backed ETFs and similar products, as well as the vault inventories of futures exchanges which trade gold futures.

As of 01 December, the group of platforms, vehicles and exchanges captured by the below chart held a combined 90.25 million ounces of gold, or 1282.3 tonnes.

Gold-backed ETFs and similar product gold holdings: 12 months to November 2017

Swiss Gold Imports and Exports

According to data from Swiss Federal Customs, Switzerland imported 99 tonnes of non-monetary gold during October, and exported 140 tonnes of non-monetary gold. This resulted in a net outflow of 41 tonnes of non-monetary gold. Monetary gold is gold that is classified as central bank gold. Monetary gold is exempt from trade reporting when it moves across borders. Non-monetary gold is any gold that is not classified as monetary gold.

October's Swiss gold import figure was the lowest of the year-to-date, and also lower than any month in 2016.

Swiss Gold Imports and Exports, monthly data, 2 year rolling to end of October 2017, Source:www.GoldChartsRUs.com

The US, Dubai and Hong Kong accounted for the largest import sources of gold flowing into Switzerland during October. Interestingly, October also saw nearly 5 tonnes of gold coins being sent across the border from France to Switzerland. This trend of gold coins flowing from France to Switzerland also showed up in Switzerland's gold import statistics during September. Where exactly these coins are originating from is unclear.

Swiss Gold Imports by top source countries, Month of October 2017, Source:www.GoldChartsRUs.com

On the export side, of the 140 tonnes of non-monetary gold that were exported from Switzerland during October, a combined 66% of this total went to India, China and Hong, with India taking in 38 tonnes, China receiving 34.6 tonnes, and Hong Kong taking in 19.5 tonnes. In fourth place was the UK (more correctly the London Gold Market) which received 9.5 tonnes of gold from the Swiss during the month.

Swiss Gold Exports by top source countries, Month of October 2017, Source:www.GoldChartsRUs.com

COMEX Vault Inventories

Currently, there are approximately 29 tonnes of gold classified as 'Registered' residing in the COMEX approved gold vaults in New York, and 275 tonnes classified as 'Eligible' in the same group of vaults.

Registered gold is gold held in COMEX approved vaults for which warrants of title have been issued against COMEX gold futures contracts. Eligible gold is gold acceptable by the COMEX for delivery against the Exchange's gold futures contracts but for which warrants have not been issued. This eligible gold could be owned by anyone and is not connected to COMEX trading at the point in time that its classified as eligible. Note that the acceptable forms of gold bars for physical settlement of the COMEX 100 oz gold futures contract are gold kilobars and 100 oz gold bars.

COMEX vaulted gold in New York (Registered and Eligible), 2001 - 2017 (latest values early December 2017, Source:www.GoldChartsRUs.com

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  • Au Gratin

    I have noticed that rising demand never produces rising prices.
    I am pretty sure that price has nothing to do with demand or availability of bullion since they do not affect it.
    I’m not sure what the point of essays like this are anymore.
    Price appears to stand on its own. Price is independent. Price is unaffected by
    anything, and can not be changed except by those who fix the price.
    I think gold and silver are political assets with officially-set prices.
    They can not admit this because it betrays everything we’re taught about how free markets work. Since 99% of the time gold and silver are pegged far below fair value. 1% of the time they break free and you have to be there for that 1% or the 99% you spent waiting was wasted.

    • sp gp

      Correct, (((they))) cannot allow the gold price to reflect dollar debasement. They’ll allow everything else – stocks, housing, bitcoin even to rise to bubble territory. But not gold, it must always be managed down. Interestingly, China likes this as they can get more gold at what they perceive to be a discount.

      Don’t count on the average American to care about any of this. They are too busy with their nascar races and nfl games, hollywood movies, and going into debt to buy more houses and cars and stuff they don’t need because America!!! We’re number one!!!!

    • SLK_R

      The charts do show a continuous drain, although we have no idea when it will be drained dry. Nevertheless, draining does mean we are stepping closer to that day and not away from it.

      Also, the drier it is, the less the time you must be on already to enjoy the ride.

  • Don Duncan

    Where is China getting the money to buy gold? Are they buying with US owned equites? Are they exchanging debt for gold? At what rate? Who holds the debt now? How will that debt be collected? When? Has China finally realized the security for the debt is controlled by the US Empire? And therefore not really secutity? How do you collect debt or enforce contracts with a superior force? There is no international force that can enforce contracts that the US Empire will not honor. Or, the USE can just muddy the waters by starting a war with the debtor.

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