Turkey’s Gold Imports In 2013 May Surpass Record Over 269.5 Metric Tonnes

Today’s AM fix was USD 1,311.25, EUR 971.30 and GBP 817.08 per
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,314.25, EUR 972.94 and GBP 823.47 per

Gold inched down $0.60 or 0.05% yesterday, closing at $1,314.20/oz. Silver
slid $0.22 or 1.01% closing at $21.62. Platinum climbed $6.55 or 0.5% to
$1,450.25/oz, while palladium rose $7.46 or 1% to $745.25/oz.

in USD, 1 Year – (Bloomberg)

Gold has had five consecutive days of weakness as a stronger greenback has
led to traders selling gold on the COMEX. Even though the U.S. Fed maintained
their ultra loose monetary policies last week, maintaining $85 billion a month
in bond purchases, gold has lost its shine with momentum driven and computer
driven traders and hedge funds.

The sharp rise in the gold mining shares yesterday, the XAU was up 2.5% and
the HUI was up 2.9%,  was encouraging for gold.

Declines are likely to be limited as lower prices is leading to physical
buying globally. While much of the focus continues to be on ETF selling and
Indian and more recently Chinese demand, some market participants fail to
realise the extent of global demand which remains broad based. This is seen in
the recent gold data out of Dubai and Turkey.

Turkey’s gold imports jumped more than threefold in October to 15.98 metric
tons, from 4.8 tons in September, according to the Istanbul Gold Exchange’s
website. That’s the highest since July, the data shows.

Turkey has already imported 251.4 metric tonnes in 2013, year to date,
meaning that it will come very close to or surpass the record import year in
2005 when 269.5 metric tonnes of gold were imported (see table below).

Year to date imports are more than double the amount of gold imports in 2012
and more than triple those in 2011.

Turkey’s gold sales to neighboring Iran declined to $1.5 billion so far this
year from a record $6.5 billion for all of last year. This may indicate a fall
in demand from Iran or that Iran is now importing gold from other countries such
as Dubai in the UAE.

Gold Exchange

Gold is being remonetised and becoming money again in Turkey. Unlike India
which has embarked on a campaign of repression against gold, the Turks are being
far more enlightened. They are allowing the considerable and growing gold
holdings of the population to be remonetised in order stimulate demand and grow
the economy. 

The country’s central bank last year allowed commercial banks to hold a
portion of their lira reserves in gold and banks are making it easier to buy
gold in Turkey

Some Turkish banks are now offering customers the ability to use their gold
based deposits for collateral on gold backed loans and using gold as access to
Turkish Lira or for access to credit cards.

Isbank and Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS, the country’s biggest lender by market
value, offer gold-backed loans, where customers can bring jewellery or coins to
the bank and take out loans against their value. Garanti also has a credit card
linked to gold deposit accounts.

Government efforts to help ease the nation’s current account deficit are
encouraging householders to bring their gold coins which it is estimated that
there are $302 billion of hidden gold
stashed in homes in Turkey

This hidden gold is second only to the U.S., and Turkish gold based deposit
accounts have grew 15% this year calculated until the end of July, which is a 3
fold increase in standard savings accounts according to the Turkish Central

The gold accounts give customers an amount in Turkish lira equivalent to the
weight of the precious metal they deposit in the bank. Bank customers can then
withdraw cash or take out loans, while the bank is able to sell or hold onto the

Turkiye Is Bankasi AS (ISCTR), Turkey’s largest bank by assets, said gold
deposits increased 10 times in the two years through June.

The campaign by Turkey’s banks, featuring ads for “golden age” accounts and
products such as gold gift checks, is targeted at Turks who traditionally give
gold coins or jewellery as presents at weddings, births and circumcision
ceremonies. The custom gained popularity a decade ago as Turkey’s inflation rate
topped 70%, making gold an attractive store of wealth.

The World Gold Council estimates that by bringing 5,000 metric tons (5,512
tons) of gold bullion into the banking system — an amount greater in value than
Ireland’s GDP, Turkey aims to reduce gold imports and external borrowing.

Government statistics cite Turkey’s current-account deficit, has narrowed its
gap 23% from $77 billion (2011) to $59 billion (ending August). Record gold
sales from Turkish companies to the United Arab Emirates and Iran increased its
exports. Exports of precious metals to the UAE and Iran, climbed to $9.2 billion
(ending August 2012) from $645 million last year driven by western sanctions on

Many of the gold exported is coming from the population that are shifting
their gold stash from their homes to the banks since Turkish gold production is
only 25 metric tons.

The Turkish Government endeavours include the August 16th central bank
decision to raise the proportion of reserves lenders can keep in gold to 30%
from 25%, having increased its efforts to get more bullion out of the homes and
into the monetary system.

Turkey Gold in Mill Fin Troy Oz

Banks are diversifying and offering diversification with a range of gold
related services.

Turkey’s regulators have been discussing planned legislation to enable
customers to buy or sell gold at bank branches or transfer gold into other
accounts, according to an Aug. 29 report in Milliyet, a daily newspaper. Bank
Asya has said it will soon start purchasing and selling bullion at its

Jewellers in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s largest covered
markets, have opposed the move. They say banks buying and selling gold would cut
their revenue and push them into underground trading, according to

The 6th century-old Grand Bazaar houses 4,000 jewellers, and about 1.5 metric
tons of scrap gold is processed into bullion there every day, according to
Istanbul Gold Exchange data. Transaction volume totalled 8.5 billion liras ($4.7
billion) last year.
The move by the Turkish banks may soon be followed by
desperate banks in other emerging and developed markets.

Turkey has been aggressively adding to its gold reserves in recent years and
now has the world’s 11th-largest gold reserves. Its holdings rose to 15.762
million ounces or over 490 tonnes at the end of September (see chart above).

Gold is gradually being remonetised again in Turkey and this trend will soon
be seen globa

With gold soon to become a Tier 1 asset, banks will attempt to get a
significant amount of investment grade gold bullion onto their balance sheets in
order to buttress them.

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