Gold export by country

Gold export by country DEFAULT

Frank Talk, a CEO Blog by Frank Holmes

Please note: The Frank Talk articles listed below contain historical material. The data provided was current at the time of publication. For current information regarding any of the funds mentioned in these presentations, please visit the appropriate fund performance page.

September 23, 2020

top 10 gold producing countries australia gold mine pit

Gold is one of the rarest elements in the world, making up roughly 0.003 parts per million of the earth’s crust. But how much gold is the world digging up each year and what countries produce the most?

In 2019, global gold mine production was a reported 3,463.7 tonnes – down one percent from the year prior – and the first year-over-year decline in output since 2008. Gold production has remained relatively steady since 2010, raising the question I’ve explored over the years – have we reached peak gold?

global gold production rose 2 percent in 2018
click to enlarge

The idea is that all the easy gold has already been discovered and explorers have to dig deeper to find economically viable deposits. For example, South Africa was once the top gold-producing country by far, digging up over 1,000 tonnes in 1970, but annual output has fallen steadily since. On the other hand, several nations have emerged in the last few years as growing gold producers.

As seen in the chart below, China takes the number one spot of global gold producers by a wide margin. The top 10 rankings saw a big shift in 2019 – Russia took the lead over Australia to claim second, Indonesia fell off the list and Brazil joined the ranks as the tenth largest producer. Ghana also jumped ahead of South Africa to become the continent’s top producer.

top 10 gold producing countries in 2018
click to enlarge

Below are more details on the top 10 countries with the largest gold production in 2019, beginning with the top producer and top consumer of bullion, China. All data is from the World Gold Council.

1. China – 383.2 tonnes

For many years, China has been the top producing nation, accounting for 11 percent of global mine production. However, production fell from nearly 400 tonnes last year, representing the third consecutive year of declines. The downtrend is largely due to tighter environmental policies imposed by the government. For example, stricter control over the use of cyanide at gold mines forced several operations to cut back production.

2. Russia – 329.5 tonnes

A massive 83 percent of European gold comes from Russia, which has been increasing its production every year since 2010. Russia took the lead over Australia to become the world’s second largest producer – mining 50 tonnes more in 2019 than the year prior. Who is the largest buyer of Russian gold? The Russian government, of course, which purchases around two-thirds of all gold produced locally.

3. Australia – 325.1 tonnes

Australia has posted seven consecutive years of increases in production, up by 4 percent in 2019. The minerals industry produces over half of Australia’s total exports and generates about 8 percent of GDP. Higher production at several mines and the ramp of projects such as Mount Morgans and Cadia Valley contributed to increased production.

4. United States – 200.2 tonnes

American gold output fell by 11 percent in 2019, ending five consecutive years of growth. Twelve states produced the gold, worth about $8.9 billion and accounting for 6.1 percent of the global total. Around 78 percent of gold produced in the U.S. is from Nevada. If the state was considered a country, it would be number six on this list with 173.6 tonnes mined in 2019.

5. Canada – 182.9 tonnes

Canada has held the number five spot for three years now, even with a slight decrease in output in 2019. New projects in Nunavat, Yukon and Quebec are expected to support stronger output in 2020. Canada’s gold mine production is estimated to grow by a compound annual growth rate of 2.7 percent from 2019 to 2023 to reach 7.6 million ounces.

6. Peru – 143.3 tonnes

Gold output fell for a fourth consecutive year in Peru largely due to crackdowns on illegal mining operations in the La Pampa region and lower grades at existing projects. Mining is a significant portion of Peru’s economy and accounts for over 28 percent of the region’s total output.

7. Ghana – 142.4 tonnes

Ghana is Africa’s largest producer of gold, beating out South Africa for the top spot in 2019, and is also known for its reserves of various industrial minerals. Industry majors such as AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields have shifted their focus from South Africa to Ghana where deposits are cheaper and easier to mine. The West African nation has around 1,000 metric tons of reserves and moved up to number seven on the list from 10 last year.

8. South Africa – 118.2 tonnes

Once the top gold-producer in the world by a wide margin, South Africa’s gold mines have been slowing every year since 2008, with the exception of 2013 when production rose by a few tonnes. The nation is struggling with rising costs for electricity and labor, with many mines closing due to unprofitability. South Africa is, however, still home to the world’s deepest gold mine, the Mponeng mine, extending 2.5 miles underground.

9. Mexico – 111.4 tonnes

Although production fell for a fourth consecutive year, Mexico remains a competitive gold source. Output has risen from just 50.8 tonnes in 2008 to over 130 tonnes in 2017, one of the largest increases in a nine-year span. Mexico is an attractive place for mining due to a relatively low cost of regulation. The 2019 slowdown is attributed to disputes between local communities and contractors.

10. Brazil – 106.9 tonnes

Brazil produced 10 more tonnes of gold than the year prior to make the number 10 spot on this list. Illegal mining activity has risen sharply in the last five years in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. President Jair Bolsonaro has pushed the country to develop the Amazon economically and tap its mineral riches.

For more about gold, watch the video below!


All opinions expressed and data provided are subject to change without notice. Some of these opinions may not be appropriate to every investor. By clicking the link(s) above, you will be directed to a third-party website(s). U.S. Global Investors does not endorse all information supplied by this/these website(s) and is not responsible for its/their content.

Holdings may change daily. Holdings are reported as of the most recent quarter-end. The following securities mentioned in the article were held by one or more accounts managed by U.S. Global Investors as of 06/30/2020: AngloGold Ashanti Ltd, Gold Fields Ltd.


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WTEx. (May 31, 2021). Leading gold exporting countries worldwide in 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved October 13, 2021, from

WTEx. "Leading gold exporting countries worldwide in 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars)." Chart. May 31, 2021. Statista. Accessed October 13, 2021.

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WTEx. "Leading Gold Exporting Countries Worldwide in 2020 (in Billion U.S. Dollars)." Statista, Statista Inc., 31 May 2021,

WTEx, Leading gold exporting countries worldwide in 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars) Statista, (last visited October 13, 2021)

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List of countries by gold exports

Wikipedia list article

The following is a list of countries by goldexports. Data is for 2018, in millions of United States dollars, as reported by The Observatory of Economic Complexity.[1] Currently twenty countries, as of 2018, are listed (their 2012 and 2016 figures are also provided).

# Country Value in 2012 Value in 2016 Value in 2018
1  Switzerland52,51967,367 63,781
2 United Kingdom3,32614,920 25,772
3 United States27,15419,749 18,138
4 South Africa20,43620,670 17,882
5 Australia13,53020,498 16,091
6 United Arab Emirates14,74526,979 15,369
7 Canada3,7306,415 12,921
8 Hong Kong48,31229,334 12,076
9 Singapore4,6405,537 10,128
10 Ghana7,2039,411 10,030
11 Japan6,1228,599 7,293
12 Peru9,6866,251 7,076
13 Mexico8,3795,388 4,824
14 Germany11,0375,017 4,665
15 Thailand6,4516,942 4,414
16 Burkina Faso2743,019 4,281
17 Turkey13,15212,011 3,209
18 Brazil3,0803,346 2,973
19  Guinea354 1,541 2,789
20 Venezuela2852,922 2,710



Gold: The Most Precious of Metals (Part 3)



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China is the number one producer of gold in the world. The USGS estimates that China mined 455 metric tons of gold in 2016. Since gold began to be mined in the 1970s, gold production in China has rapidly increased. China finally overtook South Africa in 2007 as the world’s top gold producer. China’s major gold production regions are generally located in the east of the country, in the eastern provinces of Shandong, Henan, Fujian, and Liaoning. Most of the gold mined in China stays within its borders to produce jewelry. The demand for gold in the west over the last decade has decreased while Chinese demand has increased dramatically. In 2014, China was the top gold consumer in the world at 27.9% of global consumption, just ahead of India at 26.5%.

Although China is the world’s top gold producer, it is expected that Chinese mining companies will begin to explore potential acquisitions of international gold producers to meet demand and reduce dependency on international gold producers. China’s insatiable appetite for gold also led to a new price fix in Shanghai last year in an attempt to start a regional benchmark priced in Yuan to increase its influence in the global gold market.  

Economic outlook

Despite early signs of a loss of momentum in Q4, the Chinese economy showed its strength once again and posted another solid reading for the quarter. GDP expanded 6.8% annually in Q4, matching Q3’s result and leading the economy to rise a strong 6.9% in the full year 2017. While resilient private consumption and service activities continued to drive growth in Q4, the economy greatly benefited from strong global demand. Conversely, investment growth continued to moderate in Q4 amid the government’s efforts to curb pollution and overcapacity in certain industries. Since the economy is doing well, the government will likely speed up the implementation of some of the reforms that were unveiled in the December Central Economic Work Conference. Further details will be disclosed at the March 2018 National People’s Congress.

Economic growth will decelerate this year due to a cooling housing market, the government’s tighter environmental regulations and moderating external demand. While the deceleration will be part of the government’s plan to achieve a more balanced economic model, renewed tension with the U.S. over trade disputes and a disordered financial deleveraging could prompt the economy to slow down abruptly. FocusEconomics panelists forecast that the economy will grow 6.5% in 2018, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. In 2019, the economy is expected to grow 6.3%.


Ghana has been a major producer and exporter of gold dating all way back to precolonial times when gold was exported from present-day Ghana to Europe via trans-Saharan trade routes. Gold mining was mostly alluvial until the 1860s when modern mining techniques were first implemented to extract gold.

Many years later, Ghana is now Africa’s second largest producer of gold behind South Africa. Southern Ghana is considered to be one of the world’s best regions for gold mining, however, despite still being one of the world’s top gold producers, output of the mineral has dropped significantly in recent years. Much of this has been attributed to the fall in gold prices after the global economy began to look healthier following the crisis. With the decline in mining activities followed increased layoffs in mining operations while even illegal gold miners in the country were giving up. Nonetheless Ghana is still the 11th largest producer of gold globally, the USGS expects the country to have produced 90 metric tons in 2016.

Economic Outlook

Ghana's economy experienced a momentous turnaround in 2017, escaping the grips of subdued growth in 2016 that was brought about by lower oil production coupled with a tight monetary policy stance dampening overall economic activity. Boosts to oil production amid the oil price rally, and recovering domestic demand aided by increased monetary accommodation against a backdrop of slowing inflation, helped propel annual GDP growth to 9.3% in Q3. PMI data for Q4 suggests that while private sector activity remained buoyant at the close of the year, it lost some ground compared to the previous two quarters, likely translating into a moderated pace of economic growth in the quarter. Despite the substantial strides made in 2017, the economy is still at high risk of debt distress with an elevated debt-to-GDP ratio, threatening long-term financial stability. Reigning in the heavy debt burden and putting it on a sustainable course will be one of the government’s top priorities for 2018.

Higher oil production and tighter control of expenditures should lift revenues, while domestic demand should pick up amid moderating inflation, driving robust economic growth. Headwinds to the outlook stem from financial sustainability of state-owned energy enterprises and a high outstanding volume of non-performing loans plaguing the banking sector. FocusEconomics panelists expect GDP growth of 7.1% in 2018, which is up 0.3 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and project it to moderate to 6.1% in 2019.


Indonesia is home to one of the largest gold mines in the world, the Grasberg Mine. It did not technically open until the 1980s, but can trace its origins with the Ertsberg mine, which was first discovered in the early 1900s, but didn’t officially open until 1973. The Mine is thought by some to hold the largest gold reserves in the world and contributes the majority of Indonesia’s gold production. The Grasberg mine has been the site of numerous attacks by the Free Papua movement beginning in the 1970s. Papua, Indonesia’s eastern-most province, has been a hotbed for an independence movement among inhabitants of the province, which has prompted the Free Papua Movement to make numerous attacks on the mine over the years. The mine is owned by a foreign company, which has many Papuans resentful, as they believe it profits disproportionally from the region’s natural resources without giving much back. Nonetheless, the mine employs over 19,500 people in the area. Pollution and environmental harm are another source of resentment toward the mine, which many believe is contributing heavily to pollution to surrounding rivers, land surfaces, and groundwater.

Apart from the Grasberg mine, Indonesia is in the midst of a modern gold rush, where it is estimated that, quite remarkably, illegal gold mining is producing more within the borders of the country per year than the estimations of Grasberg’s yearly output. According to a New York Times report, corruption and even more pollution are at the heart of the illegal gold mining in Indonesia. The crucial ingredient in the purification process of the gold by illegal mining operations is mercury, which has environmentalists and other health experts concerned around the world. Many of the small-scale illegal gold mining operations are funded by businesses located in the country’s capital city, Jakarta, which pay local authorities off to allow them to continue the practice. Although illegal gold mining is not taken into account in the USGS survey, Indonesia’s estimated gold output in 2016 by the USGS is thought to be 100 metric tons, making it the 10th highest producer in the world by yearly volume.

Economic Outlook

Indonesia's economy appears to have ended 2017 on a solid note, with growth expected to have edged up for the second consecutive quarter in Q4. Retail sales accelerated in November and consumer confidence picked up in December. However, strong growth in imports in Q4 caused the trade balance to fall, despite double-digit export growth. The economy is expected to have hit a milestone last year, growing to over USD one trillion dollars in nominal terms. Despite the increase, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati stated in January that government revenue came in below target in 2017 due to low tax revenue. However, lower-than-planned government spending kept the budget deficit at 2.6% of GDP, only slightly up from 2016’s 2.5% of GDP shortfall. On the political front, President Joko Widodo reshuffled his cabinet in January, replacing his chief of staff and the social affairs minister. The shakeup was widely expected as some of Widodo’s staff will run in regional elections this year, and the move should not affect economic policy.

Buoyant investment growth and healthy household spending should fuel a modest acceleration this year. FocusEconomics panelists see GDP expanding 5.3% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. In 2019, the economy is seen growing 5.4%.


Although Mexico has historically been known for its silver mining, it is also a major player in gold production. Gold has been mined in Mexico for over 500 years, and although the country has a long history of mining for precious metals, there are still large deposits of precious metals that have gone untouched. Recent developments in mining technologies are now making it possible to get to some of those untapped deposits while Mexico’s political environment is largely considered to be favorable to mining activities, meaning that Mexico will likely be one of the top-gold-producing economies for the foreseeable future.

However, gold mining in Mexico has not been without controversy. Many mining corporations that are present in Mexico are foreign, such as McEwen Mining Inc., which recently had a refinery robbed and looted by armed gunmen late last year. This was the 3rd attack of this kind in 2015. Kidnappings are also an issue, with workers disappearing and turning up dead days later. This recent flurry of attacks highlights the perils of mining in Mexico and the security issues may present downside risks to the mining sector in Mexico in the future.

Mexico is still a world leader in gold production with an estimated volume of 125 metric tons in 2016.

Economic Outlook

The Mexican economy grappled with the effects of high inflation, tighter monetary conditions and fiscal consolidation in the last quarter of 2017. A preliminary GDP estimate showed growth clocked in at 1.8% in Q4, only slightly above the 1.5% increase, a four-year low, recorded in Q3. Incoming economic data for the quarter suggests household consumption growth moderated from the previous quarter but remained resilient. Retail sales shrank at the sharpest pace in nearly four years in November, but solid labor conditions led the unemployment rate to dip to its lowest in over a decade in December. In addition, fixed investment data up to November suggests the government continued to scale down infrastructure projects in the fourth quarter, weighing on overall growth. Leading data for January is similarly discouraging, with consumer sentiment deteriorating and PMI indicators painting a mixed picture of the manufacturing sector.

Upcoming general elections and lingering uncertainty surrounding NAFTA talks will continue weighing on the economy in H1. Growth should, however, gather momentum in H2 as political noise wanes, inflation eases and the peso firms, which would allow Banxico to turn more supportive of growth. The FocusEconomics panel expects growth of 2.2% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month’s estimate. For 2019, analysts see growth accelerating to 2.3%.


There is no question that Peru is a mining country with the country’s mineral deposits having been mined going back over 1000 years. One drawback to Peruvian mining is that many of the mineral deposits are located in the areas that are fairly inaccessible in areas of high elevation in the Andes. Peru’s government is pro-mining and open to foreign investment, playing a limited role in the oversight of the country’s mining industry. Much like the mining industry of Indonesia, pollution is a big concern in Peru, especially from illegal mining, which is rampant. Similar to illegal gold mining and production in Indonesia, the use of mercury is widespread. According to the USGS, Peru is the 7th largest producer of gold annually, having producing an estimated 150 metric tons in 2016.

Economic Outlook

According to available indicators released by the Statistical Institute, economic growth remained unimpressive in the last quarter of 2017. The indicator of economic activity (IMAE) slowed in both October and November; in December, export growth softened further and annual growth in government investment spending moderated from the previous month. Moreover, the unemployment rate in Metropolitan Lima increased for the second consecutive month in December, likely weighing on household spending. That said, the mining sector recorded another month of solid year-on-year growth, and yearly credit expansion accelerated. Moving into 2018, while consumer confidence continued to worsen in January, business sentiment rebounded healthily, which bodes well for investment going forward. On top of that, the political situation remains uncertain. In January, a group of ten lawmakers headed by Kenji Fujimori split from the right-wing Popular Force party (FP), declaring they would support President Kuczynski. As a result, the FP lost its absolute majority in the Congress, which could make Kuczynski’s political sailing smoother.

This year the Peruvian economy should pick up steam: Rising wages and employment gains are expected to spur household spending, while a ramp up in infrastructure spending will underpin fixed investment. Moreover, the country should continue benefiting from the recovery in commodity prices. The main downside risk to the outlook remains political uncertainty. FocusEconomics panelists see GDP expanding 3.7% in 2018, down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 3.8% in 2019.



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Russia is a massive country geographically and consequently, as one might imagine, it has a wealth of natural resources. This includes gold and although the country has been mined for gold going back many centuries, gold production actually hit an all-time low as recently as 1998.

Russia’s economy was in a shambles leading up to and after the breakup of the Soviet Union. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the first President of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin, sought to restore Russia to its former glory by privatizing large parts of the economy and dismantling the economy’s central planning mechanism, which didn't work out too well. The economy plunged into despair, culminating in the 1998 financial crisis and Bank Rossii defaulting on its debt. Yeltsin finally resigned on New Year’s Eve in 1998 and put a man in charge whose name many will probably recognize, Vladimir Putin.

Since Putin has been at the head of the table, Russia’s mining sector has gradually developed, reaching a booming period between 2008 and 2009. In fact, since the late 1990s, Russia’s gold production increased two-fold. Although the Russian mining sector largely contributed to the economic resurgence the country saw during the last decade, it is currently at a loss for foreign investment, something it relied on heavily in the past. Low commodities prices have made the mining industry, especially for gold, less attractive for investors. Geopolitical issues with the west and Ukraine as well as macroeconomic uncertainties have also significantly hurt investment in the sector. Since gold mining is geographically diversified, investors can turn to any number of less risky countries for investment.

Russia is still one of the world leaders in gold production. The USGS estimation of 2016 gold output is 250 metric tons, making it the third top-gold-producer in the world.

Economic Outlook

Preliminary data revealed that growth undershot expectations last year, coming in at a moderate 1.5%. Details for the fourth quarter are not yet available, but the Russian economy is expected to have ended the year on a low note. Industrial production contracted in November and December as warm weather dampened demand for natural gas, while the production cut deal with OPEC prevented oil producers from benefiting fully from rising prices. Available data for 2018 suggests that the economy is not firing on all cylinders: In January, the manufacturing PMI inched up, while the services PMI fell. Meanwhile, Russia’s bond market has been in the spotlight, amid a debate in the United States on widening sanctions against Russia. Bond yields fell to the lowest level in over four years at the end of January, as investors pre-emptively bought into debt in case there are sanctions. However, a U.S. Treasury report that was released in the media on 2 February stated that debt sanctions could have negative spillover effects on global financial markets, suggesting these types of penalties will be avoided.

Growth is expected to accelerate this year, thanks to more accommodative monetary policy and higher commodity prices. Activity will, however, remain moderate overall in the face of oil production cuts. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see GDP expanding 1.9% in 2018, unchanged from last month’s forecast. In 2019, growth is seen broadly stable at 1.8%.

South Africa

In 1886, when George Harrison stumbled across gold in South Africa, he set off a chain reaction starting with the Witwatersrand Gold Rush that changed South Africa from a largely agricultural society to one of the largest gold producing nations in the world. This was all the more important at the time, as the gold standard was still in its golden age.

So many migrants came to South Africa with the dream of striking it rich that some of South Africa’s biggest cities sprung up as a result of the gold rush, including the capital, Johannesburg. The gold discovery led to the widespread construction of infrastructure like roads, railroads, buildings, towns and made it the richest country on the continent of Africa. Gold has continued to be a massive contributor to South Africa’s economy, and as was mentioned earlier, the country was the king of gold production until China overtook it as the number one gold producing economy just a few years ago.

As is a theme with many commodity-driven economies, the low-commodity-price environment has hurt South Africa’s gold mining industry of late. Although many of South Africa's mines have become depleted of their proven reserves, they are still located on top of possible reserves. Unfortunately, the nature of the low-commodity-price environment has meant that mining for that gold is no longer economically viable. Investment in mining activities has been an issue as it has been in Russia, as macroeconomic issues have left the country in a precarious position. Power outages and drought have hurt the agricultural sector and manufacturing respectively, leading to unemployment and a depreciating rand. South Africa is still a leading producer of gold, producing an estimated 140 metric tons in 2016, the seventh highest mark in the world.

Economic Outlook

Recent reports suggest that pressure is mounting on President Jacob Zuma to step down. The decision would aim to improve the ruling party’s tarnished image ahead of the 2019 general elections and follows Cyril Ramaphosa’s victory as party president in the ANC National Conference held on December 16–20; Ramaphosa campaigned on a platform to root out widespread corruption. The South African rand rallied to a multi-month high once the electoral outcome became clear. Despite the initial optimism, FocusEconomics panelists remain cautious on the economic outlook. Some of the embattled president’s political allies were elected to key party posts, which could undermine much-needed reform efforts to lure investment and rekindle growth in an economy beset by high unemployment and low business confidence. Unemployment in Q3 remained steady at the multi-year high observed in Q2 and is keeping growth in private consumption constrained. In addition, data for Q4 is weak, underscoring the need to push through reforms to support stronger economic growth: The manufacturing PMI declined in December.

The economy is expected to recover moderately in 2018 and 2019 on the back of higher prices for commodities. South Africa’s economic outlook will closely mirror political developments at home. FocusEconomics panelists expect the economy to grow 1.5% in 2018, which is up 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 1.7% in 2019.

United States

In 1799, Conrad Reed found a 16-pound gold nugget in a creek that ran through the family farm located in North Carolina. The nugget served as a door stop for three years until a jeweler recognized the rock on Reed's porch and very slyly asked him to name his price. Conrad asked for USD 3.50 for the nugget. Shortly thereafter, the first commercial gold find and subsequent gold rush in the United States began. Following the North Carolina Gold Rush, of course, was the famous California Gold Rush, which led to a massive migration of people from all over the world to the west coast of the United States in search of riches in the form of gold, hastening the settlement of the great wild west of the United States. Over 150 years later, the United States is still a top producer of gold globally with the state of Nevada supplying close to 70% of the country's gold output itself. Gold production in the states has been on the decline since 2000, as demand for gold has decreased within its borders, but the country can still count itself among the elite with an estimated 209 metric tons of output in 2016 making it number 4 on the list of top gold producers.

Economic Outlook

Healthy GDP data for the fourth quarter rounded off a strong year of growth in the U.S. economy. Household spending rose in Q4 at a solid rate on continued job growth, increased wages and high stock prices, while fixed investment benefitted from sky-high business sentiment and reconstruction efforts following weather-related disruptions in Q3. The GDP report came on top of a string of upbeat data releases suggesting momentum likely carried over into 2018. Survey-based manufacturing data for December and January showed soaring order books, while initial jobless claims continued to decline up to the week ending on 20 January, an early indication that employment growth remained resilient at the start of the year. Despite the rosy economic picture, political wrangling dominated headlines in recent weeks. Following a brief shutdown, Congress struck a deal on 22 January to reopen the federal government through 8 February but failed to resolve the underlying issues that caused the shutdown, including an agreement on DACA.

An accommodative fiscal stance should lift consumer spending and non-residential investment this year, while an exceedingly tight labor market, strong momentum in the housing sector and upbeat stock prices will continue to buttress economic activity. FocusEconomics panelists see growth of 2.6% in 2018, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate. In 2019, growth is seen moderating to 2.1%.


Mineral mining and especially Gold production plays an important role in the economy of Uzbekistan. Gold is primarily found in the Kyzylkum Desert and is home to the Muruntau Gold Deposit, the largest single open-pit gold mine in the world. The gold deposits were first found in the area in 1958 with the mine opening a few years later. The mine has produced around 1500 metric tons of gold to date and the deposits of gold in the area are expected to last until 2032. Many experts believe that Uzbekistan may be on top of the world’s largest gold reserves with experts quoting figures ranging from 2500 – 5300 metric tons of gold yet to be mined. Uzbekistan is expected to have produced 100 metric tons of gold in 2016 as estimated by the USGS.

Economic Outlook

The Uzbek economy expanded 5.3% in 2017, a substantial slowdown from 2016’s 7.8% increase and the slowest print since 2003. Growth in 2017 was weighed down by a softer expansion in construction, investment and agriculture, despite higher prices for cotton, a key export. In addition, retail trade expanded a soft 2.4% in 2017, a steep drop from the 14.4% expansion in 2016. The sharp moderation partly reflected the impact of the currency devaluation in early September, which had caused inflation to spike and real disposable income to drop. It also underscored the short-lived impact that many market-friendly reforms pushed ahead by the government to attract foreign investment are having on the economy.

The economy is expected to accelerate this year from 2017’s muted growth rate as prices for commodities trend higher. The implementation of market-friendly reforms, however, will constrain growth in the near term. FocusEconomics panelists expect GDP to grow 6.2% in 2018, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 6.1% in 2019.

The Future of Gold

As the demand for gold increases globally, especially as economies in Asia continue to develop, we may have to ask, what does the future of gold look like? Gold is scarce and costly to mine. However, almost all of the world's gold that has ever been mined is somewhere in the world at the moment, but it's likely that most of it is locked away in a vault somewhere, as government and individual investors increasingly “bar hoard”. As more sophisticated technologies are developed to detect the presence of gold in areas that were previously thought to not hold gold or to be depleted, the better for top-gold-producing economies. However, environmental concerns over the mining and production of gold will have to be taken into account as these technologies progress. Will gold mining continue at profitable rate ... on Earth? The high demand for gold used for jewelry, risk aversion, and for industrial and technological uses, will probably not be surpassed in the near future by a substitute, leading many scientists to look toward the heavens. Asteroids that have passed by Earth have been studied and indications are that there are high deposits of metals and minerals present on them. The question perhaps is, will human’s historic obsession with gold lead to mining it in outer space? How could this affect the price of gold in the future? Who will be the top-gold-producing economies once humans start landing on asteroids? Only time will tell.

Hopefully, if you have read all three parts of our series on Gold: The Most Precious of Metals, you will have learned a lot that you didn't know about gold before. If you haven't had a chance to read our other posts on gold, have a look at part 1, Gold | A History of Obsession, in which we detail mankind's history of obsession with the yellow metal going as far back as BC 4000 up through the 1970s, ending with a discussion on the potential viability of the gold standard in today's economy. In part 2, we go through how gold is mined and processed, about the uses of gold other than for jewelry, and about gold's importance to the global economy as both a commodity and monetary asset.



Export by country gold

Gold Import Export Data - World’s Largest Gold Traders

25 July 2017
Gold Data

Global sales from gold exports by countries in 2016 amounted to USD 327787 Million. Among continents, Asian countries accounted for the highest dollar worth of gold exports during the year 2016 with shipments amounting to USD 121853 Million which represents 37.2% of the worldwide total. The 4-digit HS code prefix for unwrought or semi manufactured gold is 7108. Switzerland is the largest gold exporter country as well as largest in gold importers in the world. Here, we take a comprehensive look at the top five gold exporting as well as importing countries in the world.

5 Largest Gold Exporters in the World

Switzerland stood as largest gold exporter country in the world. It recorded gold export value of USD 82265563 thousand during the year 2016. Switzerland gold exports represents 25.1% of total’s output of world. Switzerland is exporting gold to around 65 countries across the world. The gold product under HS code 7108 (Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought) are the most exported gold plat by Switzerland. United Kingdom, China, India and Hong Kong are its top gold importers. The average distance of its importing countries is 5619 KM and the export concentration is 0.16. Export concentration reflects the degree to which a country’s exports are concentrated on a small number of products or a small number of trading partners. You can go through the following table to check the 5 largest gold exporters in the world.

Gold Exporter Countries

Exporter Country

Value in USD Thousand



Hong Kong








*above stats are based on report of 2016

Hong Kong stood as second largest gold exporter country which registered value of USD 54060499 thousand during 2016. Hong Kong’s exports represent 16.5% of world exports of gold including gold plated with platinum. Hong Kong is exporting gold in 20 countries around the globe while China, Switzerland, United Kingdom are its top gold importers. Hong Kong has generated 65% value of its gold exports from China only, which recorded USD 35049315 thousand in 2016.

United Arab Emirates registered value of USD 25770565 thousand from gold exports which represent 7.9% of world exports. It is exporting gold to around 40 countries across the world and Switzerland, Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia are its top gold importing countries. In gold exports, UAE is followed by United States of America and United Kingdom.

Top 5 Gold Importing Countries

Switzerland is the king of gold global market, it is also the largest gold importer country in the world. The country recorded USD 82874507 thousand from gold imports which represent 24.4% worldwide total’s output. It is importing gold items under HS code 7108 (Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured) in a large quantity. There are around 90 gold exporters of Switzerland and UAE, UK, USA are its top gold exporters. The gold industry of Switzerland has maintained constant value from gold imports since last years. After 2013, the country got a heavy declined in gold imports. As per the gold imports data, Switzerland is followed by China, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and India. Check the following table to know the top five gold importing countries in the world.

Importer Country

Value (USD Thousand)







Hong Kong




*above stats are based on report of 2016

China got the second rank in the list of gold importers across the world. It registered value of USD 63984721 thousand from gold imports and it represents 18.8% worldwide. China is importing from more than 25 countries   and Switzerland, Hong Kong, South Africa are its top gold exporters. However, China is importing half of its gold from Switzerland only.

United Kingdom is the 3rd largest gold importer while Hong Kong is the 4th largest gold importer. In 2016, UK recorded gold import of USD 57973103 thousand while it is USD 29535581 thousand for Hong Kong.

India stood as 5th largest gold importer country in the world. It recorded value of USD 22944490 thousand from gold imports during the year 2016. India gold imports represent 6.7% of world gold imports. As per the gold import export data India, there are around 40 gold exporter countries of India including Switzerland, UAE, USA, Ghana, South Africa, Peru, Canada etc. According to gold imports data, 56% of the gold imports in India are done through Switzerland only.

Subscribe our report to access the gold trade data or gold customs data. After subscribing the report, you will get the list of importers or exporters, origin and destination country, port of lading or discharge, at what rates product is importing or exporting etc. These things will help you a lot in gold import export business.

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🔴 Gold Reserves By Country - Countries With The Largest Gold Reserves Since 1845.

Ever wonder which countries export the most gold? See the list, which also shows each exporter's percentage of global gold exports within parenthesis. In 2015, world gold exports were US$296.1 billion.

African Exporters

Africa exported $13.1 billion worth of gold led by the following countries:

  1. Ghana: $4.3 billion

  2. South Africa: $2 billion

  3. Tanzania: $1.4 billion

  4. Burkina Faso: $1.3 billion

  5. Guinea: $631.5 million

  6. Zimbabwe: $630.6 million

  7. Mali: $570.6 million

  8. Egypt: $551 million

  9. Cote d'Ivoire: $475.1 million

10. Mauritania: $254.1 million

Asian  Exporters

Asia exported $75.2 billion worth of gold led by the following countries:

  1. Hong Kong: $45 billion

  2. Turkey: $7.4 billion

  3. India: $5.3 billion

  4. Japan: $4.9 billion

  5. Thailand: $3.7 billion

  6. Uzbekistan: $1.9 billion

  7. Indonesia: $1.4 billion

  8. Taiwan: $1.3 billion

  9. Singapore: $1.1 billion

10. South Korea: $918.1 million

European Union Exporters

European Union exported $52.5 billion worth of gold led by the following member countries:

  1. United Kingdom: $38.5 billion

  2. Germany: $4.6 billion

  3. Italy: $2.9 billion

  4. Spain: $1.2 billion

  5. Belgium: $1.2 billion

  6. Netherlands: $889.8 million

  7. France: $878.7 million

  8. Sweden: $598 million

  9. Austria: $489.1 million

10. Poland: $215.8 million

Latin American and Caribbean Exporters 

Latin America (excluding Mexico) and the Caribbean exported $17.8 billion worth of gold led by the following countries:

 1. Peru: $5.7 billion

 2. Brazil: $2.3 billion

 3. Argentina: $2.3 billion

 4. Dominican Republic: $1.3 billion

 5. Colombia: $1.1 billion

 6. Venezuela: $928.9 million

 7. Chile: $796.4 million

 8. Bolivia: $725.3 million

 9. Ecuador: $681.8 million

10. Netherlands Antilles: $555.7 million

Middle Eastern Exporters

Middle East exported $13.8 billion worth of gold led by the following countries:

  1. United Arab Emirates: $13.1 billion

  2. Saudi Arabia: $305.2 million

  3. Iraq: $213 million

  4. Lebanon: $49.4 million

  5. Israel: $45 million

  6. Kuwait: $3.8 million

  7. Oman: $3.2 million

  8. Jordan: $1.6 million

  9. Bahrain: $209,000

North American  Exporters

North America exported $36 billion worth of gold led by the following countries:

  1. United States: $19.3 billion

  2. Canada: $12.4 billion

  3. Mexico: $4.3 billion

Oceanian Exporters

Oceania exported $12.9 billion worth of gold led by the following countries:

  1. Australia: $10.7 billion

  2. Papua New Guinea: $1.8 billion

  3. New Zealand: $328.8 million

  4. Fiji: $50.5 million

  5. Solomon Islands: $1.2 million

  6. Pitcairn: $60,000

  7. New Caledonia: $57,000

  8. French Polynesia: $5,000

  9. Cook Islands: $1,000

Site Index

The accompanying list identifies exporters with the fastest-growing international sales of gold from 2011 to 2015. Overall, the 5-year percentage gain for this exported product category was 31.3%.

Data source: Trade Map, International Trade Centre,

Top Gold Exporters 2015

Fastest-Growing Gold Exporting Countries


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