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In January, Switzerland shipped $3.6 billion in gold to Turkey, the biggest since at least 2012

According to Swiss customs figures released on Tuesday, Switzerland transported 58.3 tonnes of gold worth 3.3 billion Swiss francs ($3.6 billion) to Turkey in January, the biggest for any month since records began in 2012.

Gold has long been regarded as a secure means of keeping wealth, and Turkish demand for the metal has skyrocketed as rampant inflation erodes the value of the Turkish lira.

Switzerland is the world's largest refining and transit hub for gold. It shipped 188 tonnes of gold to Turkey last year, worth 10.1 billion Swiss francs, up from 11 tonnes in 2021.

Yet, January's exports represent a significant increase. According to Swiss records, Switzerland's gold shipments to Turkey have never exceeded 34 tonnes in a single month.

The amount of gold streaming into Turkey has exacerbated the country's current account deficit, which increased to $48.8 billion last year.

Following the earthquakes that struck Turkey earlier this month, causing thousands of deaths and massive economic damage, the government moved to reduce the amount of gold entering the country by suspending some imports and requesting that banks widen the spread on gold transactions, making them more expensive in order to reduce demand.

In January, Switzerland's shipments to Turkey accounted for 42% of total gold exports.

In January, the country supplied 3.2 tonnes to India, the lowest amount for any month since May 2021, and 26.1 tonnes to mainland China, the lowest amount since May 2022.

India and China are the world's two largest gold consumers, and demand rises when gold prices are low and reduces when gold prices rise.

Gold prices soared from a low of $1,615.59 per ounce in early November to a high of $1,959.60 on February 2 before falling down to roughly $1,840 on Tuesday.



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