Turkey now a major gold exporter on crisis

Posted on 14 February 2011

Date: 20/03/2009
Turkey now a major gold exporter on crisis

Turkey is now a “major” gold exporter after a deteriorating economy and a jump in prices spurred consumers to sell their jewellery, according to a new report by London-based researcher GFMS.

The country imported an average of 232 metric tons of gold a year from 2003 to 2007, GFMS said in a report on its Web site late Wednesday. Net exports in the first two months of this year may have exceeded total imports in the first half of last year, GFMS said.

Turkey imported about 76 tons of gold in the first six months of 2008, according to the Istanbul Gold Exchange.

“As the economy started to weaken toward the end of last year, consumers took the opportunity to raise funds by selling back a portion of their jewellery stock to local retail outlets,” Bloomberg quoted GFMS analyst Philip Newman as saying.

Gold priced in Turkish Liras rose to a record last month. On Wednesday, one gram of 24-carat gold bullion was selling at 49.6 liras in Istanbul.

As countries such as Turkey increase their gold sales in global markets, the precious metal’s advance in price is slowing down.

Buying up gold has become a buoyant new business as jobs are lost and incomes threatened in the global economic downturn, with new dealers opening in Europe and North America to tempt the cash-strapped to part with their gold, Reuters said in an analysis yesterday.

In major gold markets such as India, the Middle East and Turkey, scrap sales almost always rise when prices go up. In these regions, gold is often seen as an easy source of liquidity.

Hurriyet 20 March 2009 (Abridged)

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