Swiss imports of Russian gold have risen to their highest level in two years. About 5.7 tons, worth $324 million, were imported in August, the Swiss federal customs administration says. This may indicate that investors want to melt Russian gold in the Alpine country and then sell the stocks on.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Russian gold has become a taboo on the gold market. The invasion sparked a barrage of Western sanctions to isolate Moscow and cut off its access to international financial markets. “Moscow has to pay a heavy price for its aggression,” European Union president Ursula von der Leyen said in July.
To financially undermine Moscow, the US, the EU, Japan, Canada and Switzerland have therefore sanctioned the import of Russian gold. However, gold bars that left Russia before August 4 are not covered by these sanctions, Swiss authorities clarified to Tuesday. Bloomberg.
Swiss customs also stated that the Russian gold was imported from Britain and did not violate sanctions. The gold originated in Russia, but was refined in the United Kingdom.
The surge in imports may indicate that investors who own gold bars of Russian origin may want to have their precious metal melted down in Switzerland for resale.
China remains prominent buyer of Russian gold
Meanwhile, China is still one of the countries that is a prominent buyer of Russian gold. In July, China significantly increased its gold purchases from Russia, despite Western sanctions. The Asian country imported $108.8 million worth of Russian metal. That’s a 750 percent increase from $12.7 million the month before, Russian media reported. RBC based on Chinese customs data.