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Swiss gold exports tumble to 10-month lows as high gold price weighs on demand in April

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(Kitco News) Switzerland's gold shipments to China, India and Turkey fell in April, with overall gold exports dropping to 10-month lows amid a surge in prices, according to Swiss customs data.

Swiss gold exports fell to 112,975 kg in April from March's 147,707 kg. Gold exports to mainland China and India hit the lowest levels since January, at 52,734 kg and 7,024 kg, respectively.

Gold shipments to Hong Kong were at 5,088 kg — the lowest level since November. And exports to Turkey were at 1,508 kg in April — the lowest in 12 months — after registering 10,748 kg in March, Reuters cited Swiss customs data.

Gold prices surged above $2,000 an ounce in April, which likely hampered Asian demand, which is sensitive to gold's price fluctuations. The average gold price in April was $2,001 — the highest monthly average. Since then, prices retreated. And after testing record highs in May, gold posted its first monthly loss since February.

China and India are the world's top gold consumers. Turkey's appetite for gold recently increased due to surging domestic demand in response to high inflation and the depreciating lira.

The drop in Turkey's demand in April reflected its decision to curb gold imports, which weighed on the widening current-account deficit. Last year, Turkey's current-account deficit increased to $48.8 billion in 2022 — the highest level since mid-2018. Gold imports accounted for $20.4 billion in 2022.

Also, Turkey chose to sell nearly 100 tonnes of gold from its reserves in April and March to meet rising domestic demand without additional imports.

Switzerland is a global transit hub for gold, which is why the country's export data is often used as a market gauge for which countries are buying gold and when.

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