Also in July, Switzerland has exported tons of gold to the United States. Swiss customs figures show that in total 102.6 tons of gold went abroad of which more than 63 tons was shipped to the United States. This year the US market continues to dominate gold shipments from Switzerland, a role which in recent years had been reserved for countries like India and China.
With the corona crisis unfolding, demand for the precious metal countries has risen sharply in western countries. Especially in the US physical gold supplies have been tight, partly due to an unprecedented increase in the number of physical deliveries on the COMEX. Whereas only 2% of forward contracts have been executed for physical delivery in preceding years, this year data shows this percentage has risen to about four times as much. This gives a strong boost to the physical gold market, where supply is relatively scarce.
Swiss gold exports
Switzerland is an important hub in the international physical gold market, as many gold market participants have their gold refined, remelted and stored in the Swiss Alps. Gold is shipped through secondary channels to be processed in the Alpine state to be remelted into LBMA standardized gold bars. These ingots are shipped to countries where demand for gold is greatest at that time.
In recent years India and China were by far the most important destinations for gold from Switzerland, but with the gold price rising from last year onward, gold exports mainly went to Western countries. Last year Switzerland already exported a lot of gold to the United Kingdom, as many gold ETF’s hold their physical stocks.
Since the corona crisis however, gold has found a new destination. This year Switzerland has already exported more than 400 tons of gold to the US. In recent years this averaged only a few tons annually. The graph below illustrates the shift in the destination of physical gold exports from Switzerland to the US.
This year Switzerland will predominantly export gold to the US