The Wall Street Journal: A Scramble for Gold Is Redrawing the Map of the Market

June 11, 2020

Article by Joe Wallace and Anna Isaac in The Wall Street Journal

New York faces a gold rush after the pandemic threw precious-metal markets into disarray, setting off a scramble by traders to cut their losses.

Bullion vaults approved by the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange house a record 29.7 million troy ounces, according to FactSet data back to 2013. Almost three quarters of that gold—weighing as much as nine, fully loaded Boeing 737-700 airplanes—has arrived in the past three months.

The displacement was set off by dysfunction in the market in March and early April, caused by fears of a breakdown in ordinarily frictionless gold supply chains. It has reversed the normal flow of bullion from west to east, redrawing the map of the international gold market.

Conventional gold routes could take months to resume because demand has been crimped in two major buyers of bullion, China and India.

“Gold has reached America from all over the world,” said Allan Finn, commodities director at Malca-Amit, a company that transports gold securely. “The flows into New York are unprecedented.”

Logistics firms such as Malca-Amit are working around the clock to keep up, sometimes opting to charter private planes to transport bullion.

The scramble to get gold to New York stemmed in part from the demand among U.S. investors ...

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