Turkey’s gold imports sink by 94 percent over previous month
Turkey’s gold imports last year skyrocketed by 150 percent to reach a record level of 302.3 tons totaling $16 billion.Turkey’s gold imports plummeted by 94 percent on a monthly basis to 1.45 tons due to Ramadan and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East that steeply curbed demand, according to new figures.
The country bought 24 tons of gold in June 2013 and 37 tons of gold in July last year, according to figures announced by the Borsa Istanbul Precious Metals and Diamond Market on Aug. 6
Troy Precious Metals Chairman Cumhur Taşdelen said the monthly decline mainly stemmed from a slowdown of business in Muslim countries during the month of Ramadan, coupled with escalated political tension due to violence in Iraq and the Gaza Strip.
With the announcement of July data, the total gold imports of the country in the first seven months of the year were 50.95 tons, a 77 percent decline from the same period last year.
Turkey’s gold imports last year skyrocketed by 150 percent to reach a record level of 302.3 tons totaling $16 billion, as Ankara continued paying for Iranian natural gas and oil imports using the Turkish Lira and as Tehran used deposits held in Turkey’s state-run Halkbank to buy gold.
Some of the gold was retained inside Turkey at the peak of the trade while some was taken to Dubai by couriers to be sold for foreign currency, which was urgently needed by Iran as sanctions against its atomic program have increasingly cut off access.
Analysts also argued that the simultaneous weakening of the lira and the upsurge in global gold prices further increased gold’s price in liras, curbing demand for the precious metal.
Turkey’s gold trade has followed an undulating course over the past seven months.
The country imported 6 tons gold in January, 1.27 tons in February, 2.03 tons in March, 4.16 tons in April, 11.76 tons in May and 24.28 tons in June.