If you follow the gold market, you likely know that a host of factors influence the price of the world’s most well-known precious metal.
A spike in inflation in Europe or the United States can cause the price to spike.
A strike in South African can cause supply chain concerns, boosting the price of the precious metal.
A shift in asset allocation from U.S. Treasuries to gold by the Central Bank of Russia can influence the price of gold.
A change in demand from India, such as an extra month of ‘adhik mass’ or a depreciated rupee, can cause the price of gold to decline.
It is impossible to watch all social changes and governmental policy shifts across all countries. Given this limitation, when it comes to the price of gold, which countries’ policies and practices would be most useful in watching? One place to start would be the countries with the greatest gold production, because labor strikes or other changes could shift the supply of gold.
The following map has the top ten countries for gold production.
The map is color-coded, with the largest producers of gold colored blue, and the bottom five countries of the top ten producers colored orange.
Interestingly, China is in first place. The world’s second largest economy saw gold production of 440 tonnes, far surpassing second-place Australia at 300 tonnes.
In third place is Russia at 255 tonnes, followed by the United States at 180 tonnes, and Canada at 180 tonnes.
The bottom half of the top ten producing countries includes Peru (155 tonnes), South Africa (145 tonnes), Mexico (110 tonnes), Uzbekistan (100 tonnes), and Brazil (85 tonnes).
So, if you are wondering why the gold market pays more attention to South Africa than Nigeria, supply concerns might be the issue.
Production Since 2004
Out of interest, the following is a look at gold production by country from 2004 to 2017. Interestingly, the same countries that were producing the most in 2017 are the same countries that produced the most over the past 14 years. Sometimes it is true that the more things change, the more they stay the same.