The U.S. gold market suffered a net deficit this year compared to a small surplus in 2016. This was quite interesting because U.S. physical gold demand will be down considerably this year. In 2016, total U.S. gold demand was 212 metric tons versus an estimated 150 metric tons this year. The majority of the decline in U.S. gold demand is from the physical bar and coin sector that is down 56% in the first three quarters of 2017 compared to the same period last year.
So, why will the U.S. gold market suffer a deficit if gold demand is down sharply this year? Well, it seems as if the culprit is the huge increase in net gold exports. Last year, the U.S. imported 374 metric tons (mt) of gold and exported 398 mt for a net 24 mt deficit. However, this year, estimates for U.S. gold imports will fall to 250 mt while exports increase to 475 mt. Thus, the U.S. net export deficit will be 225 mt in 2017:
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