Turkey’s gold imports from Switzerland rose to the highest since at least 2012 in January as the country’s soaring inflation spurred demand for the precious metal.
More than 58 tons of the precious metal was shipped to Turkey, according to Swiss Customs, the biggest monthly figure in data going back to January 2012. The eye-watering figure — accounting for 42% of total Swiss gold exports — comes after bullion buying surged as Turkish consumer inflation accelerated to as high as 85% last year.
Turkey’s government is now taking measures to limit some gold imports after devastating earthquakes left over 41,000 dead. Banks are also being asked to set minimum spreads on bullion sales to domestic buyers in an attempt to curb demand.
Foreign gold purchases have been one of the biggest drags on Turkey’s external finances in recent months, piling pressure on the already embattled lira. The nation’s central bank was the biggest buyer among publicly named institutions last year, adding 148 tons of metal to its reserves.