December 18th, 2012 3:10 am EST - By Dave Manuel
China Currently Owns $1.155 Trillion in US Debt
In October of 2011, the list of the top foreign holders of US debt looked like this:
China, $1.256 trillion
Japan, $1.006 trillion
Oil Exporters, $248.4 billion
Brazil, $229.4 billion
Caribbean Banking Centers, $212.1 billion
As you can see, China owned $250 billion more in US Treasury securities than the next closest country, Japan.
Let's fast forward a year and look at the numbers:
China, $1.1615 trillion
Japan, $1.1347 trillion
Oil Exporters, $266.2 billion
Caribbean Banking Centers, $258.5 billion
Brazil, $255.2 billion
That means, over the course of just 12 months, Japan added roughly $130 billion in US debt, while China cut their position by over $100 billion.
The Year over Year changes of the top holders of US debt:
China, Mainland, $1155.5 Billion, -9.03%
Japan, $1130.7 Billion, +14.92%
Oil Exporters, $267.0 Billion, +5.91%
Brazil, $250.5 Billion, +10.64%
Carib Bnkng Ctrs, $240.4 Billion, +14.64%
For whatever reason (diversification, worries over US dollar, etc), China has substantially cut their US debt holdings over the past year, while Japan, the Oil Exporters, Brazil and the Caribbean Banking Centers have all substantially upped their positions.
Will this trend continue over the coming year? Will Japan pass China to retake the #1 spot on the list?
Source: Largest Foreign Holders of US Debt