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Gold-suppliers focus shipments to China, Turkey; cut back supply to India

07 october 2022
Gold-supplying banks have cut back shipments to India ahead of major festivals, in favour of China, Turkey, and other markets where better premiums are offered, as told to Reuters by bank officials and vault operators. This could create scarcity in India, and force Indian buyers to start paying hefty premiums for supplies in the approaching peak-demand season.
Premiums were driven sharply lower by a ‘now-closed loophole’ that led some Indian trading houses to import gold as lower-tariff platinum alloy, allowing some to even offer gold at a discount.
This contrasts with the $20-45 premiums offered in top consumer China and $80 in Turkey, where gold imports have risen sharply against a backdrop of rampant inflation.
"Banks will sell where they will get a higher price," said a Mumbai-based official with a leading bullion-supplying bank. Buyers in China and Turkey are right now paying a very high premium. There is no comparison when we equate it with the Indian market."
India's gold imports in September fell 30% from a year ago to 68 tonnes, while Turkish gold imports soared 543%. China's net gold imports via Hong Kong jumped nearly 40% to a more than four-year high in August.
Indians will celebrate Dussehra, Diwali and Dhanteras in October, when buying gold is considered auspicious. After these festivals, the wedding season starts which is one of the biggest drivers of gold purchases in India.

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor in Chief of the Asian Bureau, Rough&Polished