May 26, 2020 / 11:21 AM / a month ago

U.S. imports record amount of gold from Switzerland as virus upends trade

    LONDON, May 26 (Reuters) - Swiss exports of gold to the
United States leapt to 111.7 tonnes in April -- by far the
biggest monthly total on record -- while shipments to other
destinations dwindled, customs data showed on Tuesday.
    The global gold market has been turned on its head by the
novel coronavirus, with demand in China and India collapsing due
to lockdowns while in the West investors rushed to buy bullion
as a safe asset to weather a period of financial turmoil. 
    High prices on CME Group's Comex exchange
spurred shipments to New York. 
    Switzerland, a major trading, vaulting and refining centre
for precious metals, exported a total of 131.8 tonnes of gold in
April, up from 96.2 tonnes in March but slightly lower than in
April 2019.
    The United States, which typically imports less than a tonne
of gold a month from Switzerland, accounted for 85% of that
total. 
    Switzerland meanwhile shipped 500 kgs (0.5 tonnes) of gold
to India, 1 kg to Hong Kong and no gold at all to China in
April. Each of these destinations usually receive tens of tonnes
of metal from Switzerland each month. 
    Following are the numbers for April 2020 and comparisons.
    
    SWISS TRADE DATA (KG)    
           EXPORT (kg)
   Apr-20      131,755
   Mar-20       96,198
   Apr-19      143,179
 
    DESTINATION OF SWISS GOLD EXPORTS (KG)    
          To China    To Hong      To India     To the U.S.
                      Kong                      
  Apr-20           0            1          500      111,678
  Mar-20           0          152        6,637       43,212
  Apr-19      24,750       33,694       58,845          973
 
    * Source: Swiss trade data. Data subject to revision by
source.

 (Reporting by Peter Hobson; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
  
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