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Switzerland imported Russian gold in May for first time since Ukraine attack

Published 21/06/2022, 16:40
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Sicpa Oasis validator system (bullion protect) is pictured on one kilogram bar of gold at Swiss refiner Metalor in Marin near Neuchatel, Switzerland July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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LONDON (Reuters) - Switzerland imported gold from Russia in May for the first time since the Kremlin sent troops into Ukraine in February, Swiss customs data showed on Tuesday.

Switzerland is the world's biggest refining and transit centre for gold and Russia is one of the biggest bullion producers.

Western sanctions on Russia have not directly targeted commercial gold shipments but many banks, shippers and refiners stopped dealing with Russian metal after the conflict in Ukraine began.

Switzerland received 3.1 tonnes of gold worth around $200 million from Russia in May, accounting for around 2-3% of its total gold imports, the customs data show.

That compares with an average of around 2 tonnes of gold a month imported by Switzerland from Russia in the 12 months to February.

On the export side, Swiss shipments of gold to China fell in May but exports to India rose to their highest in six months. China and India are the two largest bullion consumer markets.

Following are numbers and comparisons.

SWISS TRADE DATA (KG)

EXPORT (kg)

May-22 105,536

Apr-22 68,034

May-21 82,315

SHIPMENTS TO KEY MARKETS (KG)

To China To Hong To India

Kong

May-22 9,992 3,028 35,674

Apr-22 15,946 96 8,957

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An employee processes ingots of 99.99 percent pure gold at a non-ferrous metals plant in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia March 10, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Manzyuk

May-21 32,750 3,800 2,037

* Source: Swiss customs. Data subject to revision by source.

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