As rumors fly that leading Western economies have exhausted their gold hoards, China has become the world's biggest gold producer while also discretely accumulating bullion reserves.
A handy graph provided by Washington's Blog draws into relief China's heft with respect to global gold production:
Washington's also cites another source noting that in sharp contrast to the powerhouse manufacturing industries which have brought about its rapid economic ascent, China is not exporting any of the bullion it produces, and that despite being the world's biggest gold producer no on ever sees bars with Chinese stamps on them.
Screwtape Files observes that it is difficult to find much evidence of Chinese-manufactured gold bars overseas:
In the database I found ZERO matches for Chinese-manufactured gold bars in the GLD records, and also extended the query to see if other vaults had any. I was mildly surprised to find NONE … surprising because our current gold sample size includes data from not just HSBC London vault, but also Royal Canadian Mint and Via Mat (London, Hong Kong and Zurich).
Washington's further notes that China has historically remained largely taciturn about its gold holdings for several years at a time before announcing major increases in its total hoard.