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The Latest Swiss Trade Statistics Show Interesting Trends

swiss trade statistics
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EDITOR'S NOTE: It may be hard to tell given gold’s lackluster performance as of late, but US retail appetite for gold is more or less “insatiable” according to recent Swiss trade statistics. US imports surged 170% year to date (up by 103 tonnes) and 30% of the total Swiss gold exports are heading to the US. There are plenty of reasons why gold made for a smart investment at the onset of the pandemic, yet there are even more reasons now to support the rush to this time-proven safe haven. So, does this new revelation in demand mean that gold is about to see another major upward surge? It’s certainly something to watch out for.

  • Swiss data shows the highest total January to May bullion shipments since 2018
  • On a year-to-date basis US gold imports surged by 170% to 103t
  • US also the largest destination for Swiss silver bullion, accounting for ~30% of the total; up from less than 1% over much of the previous decade

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Much of the world’s gold production touches Swiss soil.

The central European country is the world’s biggest gold refiner – four of the biggest refineries are Swiss – which also makes it the largest importer and exporter.

In 2020, Switzerland imported $US87.4bn and exported $US68.5bn in gold, according to international trade data site OEC.


This week, Swiss customs released their trade statistics for May, which show some interesting trends.

The headline numbers are this: gold bullion shipments for May partially recovered from April’s depressed levels, culminating in a year-to-date gain of 5% on the same period last year to 558 tonnes.

This is the highest January to May total since 2018, says Metals Focus.

While trade flows fluctuated wildly – China went from major importer to dead quiet during the lockdowns, for example – the enduring popularity of gold as an investment in the US is a trend worth highlighting, it says.

“On a year-to-date basis, [US imports] surged by 170% to 103t,” Metals Focus says.

“… the total is the second highest on record.

“This partly reflects the strength of minted bar and coin demand in the US, which has remained exceptionally healthy over most of the past two years.”

And for the second year, the US remained the largest single destination for Swiss silver bullion, accounting for around 30% of the total.

This compares with less than 1% over much of the previous decade.

“Even though these deliveries were down y/y they remained historically high, reflecting strong shipments of minted silver bars into the US, to meet the country’s almost insatiable appetite for retail investment products,” Metals Focus says.

Gold price continues to trade in narrow range

Gold bugs once again appear to have lost patience, OANDA’s Jeffrey Halley says, as gold fell by 0.82% to $US1822.50 overnight, edging slightly higher to $US1824.00/oz in Asia on Friday.

“Probably most concerning, was that gold fell as the US Dollar remained mostly unchanged and US yields had another big move lower,” Halley says.

“Even cryptos managed to move slightly higher overnight.

“With that in mind, it appears that gold is going into the end of the week looking vulnerable, although I am not betting against the $1800.00 to $1870.00 range trade continuing.”

Gold has resistance at $US1860.00 and $US1880.00, the latter appearing an insurmountable obstacle for now, Halley says.

“On the topside, I would need to see a couple of daily closes above $US1900.00 to get excited about a reinvigorated rally,” he says.

USD gold price over the past 12 months. Pic:

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Originally published on Stockhead.

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