| 18 April 2024, Thursday |

Switzerland sent $3.6 bln of gold to Turkey in Jan, the most since at least 2012

According to records dating back to 2012, Switzerland shipped 58.3 tonnes of gold to Turkey for a total value of 3.3 billion Swiss francs ($3.6 billion), according to Swiss customs figures released on Tuesday.

Turkish demand for the metal has skyrocketed as astronomically high inflation erodes the value of the local lira currency. Gold is historically regarded as a safe way to store money.

The largest hub for the transit and refining of gold is in Switzerland. It sent Turkey 188 tonnes of gold last year, up from just 11 tonnes in 2021, for a total value of 10.1 billion Swiss francs.

But January’s shipments are an acceleration. Switzerland’s gold exports to Turkey have never previously exceeded 34 tonnes in a single month, Swiss data shows.

The quantity of gold flowing into Turkey has worsened Turkey’s current account deficit, which rose to $48.8 billion last year.

After earthquakes struck Turkey this month, causing thousands of deaths and huge economic damage, the government moved to reduce the amount of gold entering the country by suspending some imports and asking banks to widen the spread for gold transactions, making them costlier to curtail demand.

Switzerland’s shipments to Turkey accounted for 42% of its total gold exports in January.

The country sent 3.2 tonnes to India in January, the lowest for any month since May 2021, and 26.1 tonnes to mainland China, the least since May 2022.

India and China are the two biggest gold consumer markets and demand often rises when gold prices are low and falls when gold prices increase.

Gold prices rocketed from a low of $1,615.59 an ounce in early November to as high as $1,959.60 on Feb. 2 before slipping back to around $1,840 by Tuesday.

  • Reuters