Investors no longer sucking up all of Switzerland's gold - data

December 17, 2020

LONDON (Dec 17) - Swiss trade data on Thursday pointed to a mixed recovery in demand for gold in retail and jewellery markets in November but a slump in appetite for bullion from financial investors.

Switzerland is the world's biggest gold refining centre and a transit hub and its data illustrate global market trends.

In November, the country exported large amounts of gold to India and Turkey while shipments to Thailand, Italy and Germany - all countries with large jewellery or retail gold bar and coin markets - rose to multi-month highs.

However, shipments to Hong Kong and China, usually the biggest buyers of Swiss gold, remained at rock bottom. Exports to Britain, a major storage centre for gold investors, plunged to almost zero.

Exports to the United States, where huge amounts of gold have flowed this year to underpin trading of futures, remained significant but they were mostly offset by exports from the United States back to Switzerland.

The coronavirus outbreak has upended the gold market. Jewellery sales have collapsed but there has been a rush to buy bullion by investors in western countries worried about economic turmoil. That reversed a trend in recent years for gold to move from Europe and the United States to Asia.

Bullion instead flowed westwards and prices leaped to record highs above $2,000 an ounce . But prices have since fallen below $1,900 as investors grow more optimistic about an economic recovery and their interest in gold slackens.


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