Gold Imports by Country

Gold bars (Pixabay.com)

Gold bars (Pixabay)

Worldwide purchases of imported gold totaled an estimated US$287.6 billion in 2018. The overall value of gold imports rose by 2.5% for all importing countries since 2014 when gold purchases were valued at $280.7 billion.

Year over year, gold imports slipped by -18% from 2017 to 2018.

From a continental perspective, Asian countries bought the highest dollar worth of imported gold during 2018 with purchases valued at $164.6 billion or 57.2% of the global total. In second place were European importers at 35.6% while 5.1% of international gold buys were delivered to North America. Smaller percentages arrived in Oceania (1.6%), Africa (0.4%) and Latin America (0.02%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.

The 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for gold is 7108.

Gold Imports by Country

Top 15

Below are the 15 countries that imported the highest dollar value worth of gold during 2018.

  1. Switzerland: US$63.3 billion (22% of total gold imports)
  2. China: $45.8 billion (15.9%)
  3. India: $31.8 billion (11.1%)
  4. United Kingdom: $25.6 billion (8.9%)
  5. Hong Kong: $23.6 billion (8.2%)
  6. Singapore: $13.5 billion (4.7%)
  7. Thailand: $11.4 billion (4%)
  8. Turkey: $11.3 billion (3.9%)
  9. United Arab Emirates: $10 billion (3.5%)
  10. United States: $9.6 billion (3.4%)
  11. Cambodia: $5.7 billion (2%)
  12. Canada: $4.8 billion (1.7%)
  13. Australia: $4.6 billion (1.6%)
  14. Germany: $4.6 billion (1.6%)
  15. Italy: $4 billion (1.4%)

By value, the listed 15 countries purchased 93.8% of all gold imports in 2018. Within parenthesis is the percentage of global gold shipments.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing markets for gold since 2014 were: Cambodia (up 2,828%), Singapore (up 687.5%), Thailand (up 72.6%) and Turkey (up 59%).

Those countries that posted declines in their imported gold purchases were led by: United Arab Emirates (down -66.3%), Hong Kong (down -57%), Canada (down -39.6%) and United States (down -28.4%).

For a comprehensive listing, please see Searchable List of Gold Importing Countries below.

Switzerland

Gold Imports into Switzerland

Switzerland’s global purchases of imported gold totaled US$63.3 billion in 2018. Below are the top 15 suppliers from which Switzerland imported the highest dollar value worth of gold during 2018. Within parenthesis is the percentage change in value for each supplying country since 2014.

  1. United Kingdom: US$18 billion (down -31.1% from 2014)
  2. United States: $6.9 billion (down -13%)
  3. United Arab Emirates: $3.4 billion (up 30.8%)
  4. Uzbekistan: $2.5 billion (up 85.9%)
  5. France: $2.4 billion (up 49.7%)
  6. Peru: $2.2 billion (down -21.5%)
  7. Hong Kong: $2.1 billion (up 345.4%)
  8. Ghana: $1.6 billion (down -1.2%)
  9. South Africa: $1.6 billion (down -4.1%)
  10. Thailand: $1.5 billion (up 65.6%)
  11. Italy: $1.5 billion (down -46.2%)
  12. Burkina Faso: $1.5 billion (up 14.7%)
  13. Germany: $1.4 billion (down -48.8%)
  14. Japan: $1.2 billion (up 289.3%)
  15. Argentina: $1.2 billion (up 158.5%)

By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 77.7% of all Swiss gold imports in 2019.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing suppliers of gold to Switzerland since 2014 were: Hong Kong (up 345.4%), Japan (up 289.3%), Argentina (up 158.5%) and Uzbekistan (up 85.9%).

Countries that experienced declines in the value of their gold supplied to Swiss importers included: Germany (down -48.8%), Italy (down -46.2%), United Kingdom (down -31.1%) and Peru (down -21.5%).

Overall, the value of Switzerland’s gold imports retreated by an average -11.3% from all supplying countries since 2014 when gold purchases were valued at $71.3 billion.

China

Gold Imports into the People’s Republic

China’s global purchases of imported gold totaled US$45.8 billion in 2018. Below are the top 15 suppliers from which China imported the highest dollar value worth of gold during 2018. Within parenthesis is the percentage change in value for each supplying country since 2015 (2014 data unavailable for China).

  1. Switzerland: US$18.2 billion (down -43.3% from 2015)
  2. Australia: $8.2 billion (down -6.3%)
  3. South Africa: $6.7 billion (down -55.1%)
  4. Canada: $4.6 billion (down -40.7%)
  5. United States: $2.7 billion (down -53.6%)
  6. Hong Kong: $2.1 billion (down -54.4%)
  7. Singapore: $1.9 billion (up 24.8%)
  8. China: $565.6 million (down -39.4%)
  9. Japan: $270.5 million (down -22.9%)
  10. Germany: $183.9 million (down -16.4%)
  11. South Korea: $82.8 million (down -68.9%)
  12. United Arab Emirates: $65.8 million (down -72.8%)
  13. Democr. Rep. Congo: $40.3 million (up 5426.6%)
  14. Turkey: $38.7 million (up 593.9%)
  15. Italy: $10.5 million (up 38.1%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 99.5% of China’s total gold imports in 2018.

Four among the above countries increased their sales of gold to China since 2015 namely: Democratic Republic of Congo (up 5,427%), Turkey (up 593.9%), Italy (up 38.1%) and Singapore (up 24.8%).

Countries that experienced declines in the value of their gold supplied to Chinese importers included: United Arab Emirates (down -72.8%), South Korea (down -68.9%), South Africa (down -55.1%) and Hong Kong (down -54.4%).

Overall, the value of China’s gold imports fell by an average -42% from all supplying countries since 2015 when gold purchases were valued at $79 billion.

India

Gold Imports into India

India’s global purchases of imported gold totaled US$31.8 billion in 2018. Below are the top 15 suppliers from which India imported the highest dollar value worth of gold during 2018. Within parenthesis is the percentage change in value for each supplying country since 2014.

  1. Switzerland: US$15.4 billion (down -19.3% from 2014)
  2. Ghana: $2.9 billion (up 400.3%)
  3. Peru: $2.2 billion (up 1,229%)
  4. United Arab Emirates: $2.2 billion (down -38.2%)
  5. United States: $2.1 billion (down -10.5%)
  6. South Africa: $1 billion (down -35.5%)
  7. Bolivia: $760.4 million (no 2014 data)
  8. Hong Kong: $672.1 million (up 746.5%)
  9. Burkina Faso: $630.1 million (up 1,559%)
  10. United Kingdom: $596.7 million (up 147.3%)
  11. Australia: $549.6 million (down -62.2%)
  12. Tanzania: $516.1 million (up 3.5%)
  13. Dominican Republic: $509.3 million (up 654.1%)
  14. Brazil: $463.9 million (up 76.9%)
  15. Colombia: $358 million (up 143.8%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 97.4% of all Indian gold imports in 2018.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing suppliers of gold to India since 2014 were: Burkina Faso (up 1,559%), Peru (up 1,229%), Hong Kong (up 746.5%) and Dominican Republic (up 654.1%).

Countries that experienced declines in the value of their gold supplied to Indian importers included: Australia (down -62.2%), United Arab Emirates (down -38.2%), South Africa (down -35.5%) and Switzerland (down -19.3%).

Overall, the value of India’s gold imports expanded by an average 2.4% from all supplying countries since 2014 when gold purchases were valued at $31 billion.

UK

Gold Imports into United Kingdom

United Kingdom’s global purchases of imported gold totaled US$25.6 billion in 2018. Below are the top 15 suppliers from which the UK imported the highest dollar value worth of gold during 2018. Within parenthesis is the percentage change in value for each supplying country since 2014.

  1. Canada: US$7.9 billion (up 21.1% from 2014)
  2. United States: $6.4 billion (up 86.9%)
  3. South Africa: $3.9 billion (up 68.4%)
  4. Australia: $1.2 billion (up 61.8%)
  5. Germany: $1.1 billion (up 126.4%)
  6. Switzerland: $791.1 million (up 6.5%)
  7. Kyrgyzstan: $651.6 million (no 2014 data)
  8. Mexico: $619.3 million (up 592.8%)
  9. Brazil: $595.6 million (down -9.9%)
  10. Spain: $587.4 million (up 41.7%)
  11. Turkey: $532.5 million (up 440.1%)
  12. Japan: $510.8 million (up 65.5%)
  13. Russia: $419.1 million (down -18.2%)
  14. Hong Kong: $54.4 million (down -67.7%)
  15. United Arab Emirates: $53.2 million (down -38.4%)

By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 99.2% of all UK gold imports in 2018.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing suppliers of gold to United Kingdom since 2014 were: Mexico (up 592.8%), Turkey (up 440.1%), Germany (up 126.4%) and United States (up 86.9%).

Four countries experienced declines in the value of their gold supplied to UK importers namely: Hong Kong (down -67.7%), United Arab Emirates (down -38.4%), Russia (down -18.2%) and Brazil (down -9.9%).

Overall, the value of United Kingdom’s gold imports increased by an average 25.9% from all supplying countries since 2014 when gold purchases were valued at $20.3 billion.



 

Searchable List of Gold Importing Countries in 2018

You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of any of the columns below.

RankImporterGold Imports (US$)%World Total
1.Switzerland$63.3 billion22%
2.China$45.8 billion15.9%
3.India$31.8 billion11.1%
4.United Kingdom$25.6 billion8.9%
5.Hong Kong$23.6 billion8.2%
6.Singapore$13.5 billion4.7%
7.Thailand$11.4 billion4%
8.Turkey$11.3 billion3.9%
9.United Arab Emirates$10 billion3.5%
10.United States$9.6 billion3.4%
11.Cambodia$5.7 billion2%
12.Canada$4.8 billion1.7%
13.Australia$4.6 billion1.6%
14.Germany$4.6 billion1.6%
15.Italy$4 billion1.4%
16.Malaysia$3 billion1%
17.Indonesia$2.1 billion0.7%
18.Austria$1.8 billion0.6%
19.Taiwan$1.6 billion0.5%
20.South Korea$1 billion0.4%
21.France$979.6 million0.3%
22.Azerbaijan$846.6 million0.3%
23.Belgium$769.7 million0.3%
24.Lebanon$687.4 million0.2%
25.Qatar$359.4 million0.1%
26.Egypt$342.3 million0.1%
27.Uganda$334.5 million0.1%
28.Saudi Arabia$296.4 million0.1%
29.South Africa$277.1 million0.1%
30.Japan$275.9 million0.1%
31.Czech Republic$251.5 million0.1%
32.Netherlands$246.2 million0.1%
33.Jordan$239.2 million0.1%
34.Bangladesh$204 million0.1%
35.Sri Lanka$186.4 million0.1%
36.Slovakia$152.5 million0.1%
37.Mexico$145.8 million0.1%
38.Poland$144.2 million0.1%
39.Philippines$129.6 million0.05%
40.Vietnam$117.6 million0.04%
41.Spain$116.8 million0.04%
42.Ireland$98.7 million0.03%
43.Armenia$85.3 million0.03%
44.Nepal$69.7 million0.02%
45.Estonia$63.2 million0.02%
46.Laos$62.1 million0.02%
47.Slovenia$56.5 million0.02%
48.Sweden$52.8 million0.02%
49.Iran$43.1 million0.01%
50.Oman$35.1 million0.01%
51.Portugal$34.9 million0.01%
52.Hungary$31.9 million0.01%
53.Luxembourg$31 million0.01%
54.New Zealand$28.5 million0.01%
55.Mauritius$27.3 million0.01%
56.Finland$24.1 million0.01%
57.Kuwait$23.5 million0.01%
58.Tunisia$21.5 million0.01%
59.Croatia$19.2 million0.01%
60.Morocco$18.8 million0.01%
61.Israel$18 million0.01%
62.Pakistan$17.8 million0.01%
63.Ukraine$16.8 million0.01%
64.Cayman Islands$14.3 million0.005%
65.Denmark$13 million0.005%
66.Dominican Republic$12 million0.004%
67.Russia$11.4 million0.004%
68.Myanmar (Burma)$11 million0.004%
69.Greece$10.8 million0.004%
70.Uzbekistan$9.7 million0.003%
71.Kazakhstan$8.7 million0.003%
72.Bulgaria$7.4 million0.003%
73.Norway$6.9 million0.002%
74.Lithuania$5.5 million0.002%
75.Brazil$5.3 million0.002%
76.Andorra$5.3 million0.002%
77.Malta$5.2 million0.002%
78.Bhutan$3.8 million0.001%
79.Panama$3.6 million0.001%
80.Macao$3.5 million0.001%
81.Peru$3.4 million0.001%
82.Serbia$3 million0.001%
83.Latvia$2.9 million0.001%
84.Bolivia$2.1 million0.001%
85.Cyprus$2.1 million0.001%
86.Eswatini$1.9 million0.001%
87.Guatemala$1.7 million0.001%
88.Yemen$1.6 million0.001%
89.British Virgin Islands$1.6 million0.001%
90.Senegal$1.4 million0.001%
91.Costa Rica$486,0000.0002%
92.Romania$440,0000.0002%
93.Sierra Leone$393,0000.0001%
94.Iceland$354,0000.0001%
95.Trinidad/Tobago$325,0000.0001%
96.French Polynesia$282,0000.0001%
97.Kyrgyzstan$242,0000.0001%
98.Guinea$180,0000.0001%
99.Namibia$176,0000.0001%
100.Chile$133,0000.00005%
101.Gibraltar$126,0000.00004%
102.Honduras$111,0000.00004%
103.Seychelles$110,0000.00004%
104.Bahrain$102,0000.00004%
105.Bosnia/Herzegovina$72,0000.00003%
106.Aruba$70,0000.00002%
107.New Caledonia$63,0000.00002%
108.Bahamas$63,0000.00002%
109.Curaçao$35,0000.00001%
110.Algeria$33,0000.00001%
111.Brunei Darussalam$30,0000.00001%
112.Vanuatu$28,0000.00001%
113.Cuba$27,0000.00001%
114.Mongolia$24,0000.00001%
115.Montenegro$20,0000.00001%
116.Papua New Guinea$20,0000.00001%
117.Zambia$20,0000.00001%
118.Moldova$18,0000.00001%
119.Colombia$18,0000.00001%
120.Maldives$15,0000.00001%
121.Saint Kitts/Nevis$15,0000.00001%
122.Macedonia, North$15,0000.00001%
123.Burkina Faso$10,0000.000003%
124.Mali$10,0000.000003%
125.Jamaica$10,0000.000003%
126.Tanzania$6,0000.000002%
127.Bermuda$5,0000.000002%
128.Georgia$4,0000.000001%
129.Faroe Islands$3,0000.000001%
130.Sudan$3,0000.000001%
131.Uruguay$2,0000.000001%
132.Fiji$2,0000.000001%
133.Burundi$2,0000.000001%
134.Botswana$2,0000.000001%
135.Argentina$2,0000.000001%
136.Madagascar$2,0000.000001%
137.Barbados$1,0000.0000003%
138.El Salvador$1,0000.0000003%
139.Cook Islands$1,0000.0000003%


See also Gold Exports by Country, Switzerland’s Top Trading Partners and United Kingdom’s Top 10 Imports

Research Sources:
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 7, 2019

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 7, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 7, 2019

Wikipedia, Gold. Accessed on May 7, 2019