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Swiss gold exports to China slow but shipments to Turkey surge

·2-min read
50g gold ingots are pictured at the plant of refiner and bar manufacturer Argor-Heraeus in Mendrisio

LONDON (Reuters) - Swiss exports of gold to China fell in August from July's 5-1/2-year high, while shipments to Turkey rose to their highest since June 2013, Swiss customs data showed on Tuesday.

Falling gold prices in recent months have seen metal flow from commercial vaults in the United States and Britain to countries in Asia, which have large consumer markets for gold and typically take advantage of low prices.

Switzerland is the world's biggest refining and transit hub for gold and its data offer insight into global market trends.

The customs figures also showed that Switzerland imported 5.7 tonnes of Russian gold worth around $320 million in August, the most since April 2020, but Swiss authorities said this metal, while Russian in origin, came from Britain.

Large Western banks and refiners stopped buying gold from Russia after the Kremlin attacked Ukraine in February and Switzerland banned imports of gold from Russia in August.

But hundreds of tonnes of gold mined in Russia still sit in vaults in London, Zurich and New York.

Barring July's bumper number, Switzerland's exports of gold to mainland China in August were the highest since January. Shipments to India were the highest since May.

Turkey, which is enduring rampant inflation and a fast-weakening currency, began stepping up gold imports from Switzerland in May.

Gold is seen by many as a safe place to store assets during times of economic turbulence.

Following are numbers and comparisons.

SWISS TRADE DATA (KG)

EXPORT (kg)

Aug-22 121,025

Jul-22 186,158

Aug-21 116,455

SHIPMENTS TO KEY MARKETS (KG)

To China To Hong To India To Turkey

Kong

Aug-22 37,807 1,034 19,359 23,695

Jul-22 80,149 3,679 15,836 20,128

Aug-21 18,200 2,085 70,294 0

* Source: Swiss customs. Data subject to revision by source.

(Reporting by Peter Hobson; editing by Uttaresh.V)