Swiss gold exports fall 19% to 120 mt in January, lowest for ten months

London (Platts)--21 Feb 2017 952 am EST/1452 GMT

Gold exports from Switzerland totaled 120 mt in January, a 19% fall from 148 mt a year earlier, Swiss federal customs data showed Tuesday.

The total is the lowest since March 2016 and is down 59% from 288 mt in December, when exports jumped to their highest for three years on record Chinese flows.

Exports to China totaled just 17.8 mt in January, down 89% from 158 mt in December and 59% lower than 43 mt reported a year earlier.

Exports to Hong Kong were also lower, down 14% on the year and 44% on the month, to 21 mt in January.

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Flows to India, the world's second largest gold consuming country after China, slipped by 37% on the year to 26.5 mt. The total was up 29% on the month from 21 mt in December.

Exports to Singapore were up 20% on the year to 13.8 mt om January, but down 41% on the previous month.

Flows west continue to remain subdued, with exports to the UK just 1 mt, down from 5 mt in December. Exports to the USA were just 0.5 mt, down from 2 mt the previous month.

The UK was the largest destination for Switzerland's gold in 2016, at just under 490 mt for the full year, on the back of strong investment demand, particularly gold-backed ETFs. This fell away in the fourth quarter as gold prices started to slip from November after the election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency.

Spot gold was priced around $1,230/oz in early European trade Tuesday, down from $1,235/oz Monday.

--George King Cassell,
--Edited by James Leech,

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