© Reuters. Gold bars in a photo from the Reuters archive.
LONDON (Reuters) – Swiss customs data showed on Tuesday that the country’s exports to countries including China, Turkey, Singapore, Thailand and Saudi Arabia jumped in 2022 to levels not seen in several years, as falling prices boosted consumer demand in Asia and the Middle East.
The rise in interest rates led many financial investors in Europe and North America to sell gold last year, thus withdrawing large quantities of the precious metal’s stocks and thus lowering prices.
This opened the door for an influx of gold into Asian markets, which focus more on retailing jewelry and small gold bars to consumers who usually tend to buy at lower prices.
In addition, economic instability leads to an increase in demand for gold, which many consider a safe investment, especially in countries that are witnessing very high levels of inflation.
Switzerland is the world’s largest center for gold refining and transportation. It imports it from mines and storage centers around the world for processing and re-export.--
Swiss customs data showed that the country exported 524 tons of gold last year, worth about 33 billion at current prices, to mainland China and Hong Kong, up from 354 tons in 2021, reaching the highest level since 2018.-
Sales to Turkey jumped to 188 tons, compared to 11 tons in 2021, reaching an all-time high since records dating back to 2012.
It also rose to 47 tons, compared to seven tons in 2021, and reached the highest level since 2015.
Switzerland shipped 69 tons of gold to Singapore, up from 33 tons in 2021, bringing these exports to the highest level since 2017. And it exported 92 tons to Thailand, compared to 56 tons in 2021, reaching the highest level since 2013.
(Prepared by Marwa Gharib for the Arabic Bulletin – Edited by Duaa Muhammad)