The Phaserl


Switzerland Has Never Exported This Much Gold

by Koos Jansen, Koos Jansen

Four of the largest gold refineries on earth are located in Switzerland, being Metalor, Pamp, Argor-Heraeus and Valcambi. It’s estimated 70 % of the world’s refining is done near the Alps, therefor massive amounts of gold are distributed here; Switzerland has imported 808 tons of gold in the third quarter of 2013, and exported 680 tons in this period. Year to date import is 2420 tons, and export 2184 tons. Switzerland has never exported this much gold in 9 months, or in 12 months, the yearly total estimate is 2912 tons. I dare to say more than 1100 tons of this will hit the Chinese shores, wether it be Hong Kong or any other port.

We know Hong Kong has net imported, in between January and August, 598 tons from Switzerland. Much of this is sent forward to Shanghai, but the Chinese are also importing directly from the Swiss. We know this from SGE physical deliveries and from Alex Stanzcyk, Chief Market Strategist at Anglo Far-East Bullion, who I interviewed a couple of months ago. He told me China imports a lot that’s not going through Hong Kong (or through the SGE!).

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2 comments to Switzerland Has Never Exported This Much Gold

  • rich

    Fed Gives Middle Finger to Congress, Commodities Customers, and Public, Proposes to Allow More Banks to Participate in Commodities Business

    Nothing like watching a captured regulator like the Fed use a public hue and cry to execute a big bait and switch. Here the ploy is to change rules to further disadvantage the parties making complaints. But it takes finesse to make the finger in the eye look plausible and reasonable, so that when the well-understood bad effects show up later, the perp can pretend to be mystified.

    The issue at hand is commodities speculation and price manipulation by major financial firms. In 2003, the Fed relaxed the rules that had formerly prohibited depositing-taking banks from trading commodities. In the early summer of this year, four members of Congress wrote to Bernanke asking whether the Fed had given adequate consideration of the systemic risk of letting major banks participate in the physical commodities. What, for instance, if a systemically important bank had its commodities trading operation fail? And these questions were raised in the backdrop of more general concerns about bank participation in the commodities business leading to other troubling outcomes, such as increased financialization and price volatility, which works to the detriment of real economy users.

    A timely bit of reporting by David Kocieniewski of the New York Times in July showed that these reservations were valid and used Goldman to provide a concrete example of demonstrable, measurable harm. And that harm was the direct result of the 2003 rule changes that allowed financial firms to operate in physical commodities, not just as traders in financial contracts. They started backward integrating into owning major components of the delivery and inventorying systems. They gained not only a big information advantage by having better access to underlying buying and selling activity. but also the ability to manipulate inventories, and thus, prices. This piece created a firestorm at the time of its release and increased pressure on the Fed to take the Congressional inquires seriously. And Congress kept the heat on: the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing in late July.


  • Rodster

    Gee, let me guess who’s the buyer, China ?

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