Australia Gold Export To China In August A Record 13t

A thorough examination of cross-border gold trade between Australia and China mainland.

While withdrawals from the vaults of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) continue at an unprecedented pace – 46 tonnes in week 48, year to date 2,541 tonnes – our job here at BullionStar is to track where this gold is coming from. The short answer would be it’s mainly supplied by gold imports. But, more important is the question how much is imported and from what country or warehouse? Partially, the gold is being sourced from Australia.

The second largest gold producer globally is Australia with an annual production of 270 tonnes, according the US Geological Survey. The majority of Australia’s mine output is exported, as suggested by foreign trade statistics. In 2014 total gross gold export from the land of down under was valued at 12 billion US dollars, which is roughly 296 tonnes, gross gold import was valued at 3.4 billion US dollars, or 85 tonnes. Australia’s net gold export accounted for 211 tonnes in 2014.

When it comes to Australia’s net gold export to China we’ll have to do some analysis, simply subtracting import from export won’t work in this case. Strangely, Australia discloses gold shipments as “export to China” even when it’s transferred via Hong Kong. Implying Australia records its gold export by country of destination, not the first stop, which is unusual to my knowledge.

First, let’s compare data from COMTRADE on Australia’s gross gold export to Hong Kong with data from the Hong Kong Census And Statistics Department on Hong Kong’s gross gold import from Australia. These two data points should be equal, but they’re not. Have a look at the chart below.

Australia vs HK gold gross august 2015
Exhibit 1.

Australia reports to export a lot less to Hong Kong than Hong Kong reports to import from Australia. I should mention these mismatches are not uncommon in global gold trade, though in this instance there is an obvious explanation.

When we compare data from COMTRADE on Australia’s gross gold export to China with data from the Hong Kong Census And Statistics Department on Hong Kong’s gross gold import from Australia, remarkably we can see matching values in nearly all months until January 2015. Have a look at the chart below (please focus on the months until January 2015 for now).

You can read the rest of this article at   https://www.bullionstar.com/blogs/koos-jansen/australia-gold-export-to-china-in-august-a-record-13t/

Posted on 21 Dec 2015 by Koos Jansen