Normally the United States exports more gold than Switzerland. This summer has proved to be different.
In May alone, the Swiss sent 20.7 tons of gold across the pond to America. (Can you imagine the security on that boat!) Just two months later, the Swiss sent 23.8 tons of gold over to America. This amount of gold had not been exported to the states since the year 2000 and definitely created global conversation. Why did this happen?
Gold import numbers were on the incline.
Total imports of US gold exploded in May with 50 tons, twice as much compared to April 2016 which 26.5 tons were imported.
With import numbers swelling, gold exports from the US fell to lows in May with 20.2 tons. Total exports of US gold in January to May 2016 totaled 139 tons compared to 195 in the same period of 2015. This is noticeably lower than years in the past.
Back in 2013, the U.S. exported a record 691 metric tons (mt) of gold. Switzerland received 41% of that, or 284 mt. Compare that to the paltry 3 metric tons exported from the Swiss and you will understand the significance of the past summer.
Why is more gold being exported into America?
After the Brexit vote for the U.K. to leave the European Union (In June), it has also put a lot of stress on investors holding assets within Europe. Wealthy Europeans who are in possession of gold are worried with the current political situation. Gold bullion is now flowing into the United States from Switzerland in record volume for the first time in many years.
Switzerland recently has high interest rates on gold. This is another reason why gold investors are sending gold to the U.S.
The transportation of gold is something that is common around the world and has been done for a long time. Many countries do it because they trust American banks and other secure locations more than they would in their countries. Some do it to bypass strict financial rules or high interest rates.
As long as there is trust, transparency, and the need to do it, importing and exporting gold between countries will always be a part of global trade.