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UPDATE 1-East-to-west flow of gold slows as Swiss exports to India rebound

 (Adds graphic)
    By Peter Hobson
    LONDON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - The flow of gold from east to
west triggered by the coronavirus pandemic eased in October as
Switzerland's imports of bullion from Asia fell and it exported
more to India than in any month since May 2019, Swiss customs
data showed on Thursday. 
    Switzerland's exports of gold to China remained at rock
bottom, however, suggesting that demand in Asia is far from a
full recovery. 
    Switzerland is the world's biggest gold refining centre and
a transit hub, and its trade data illustrate global market
trends. 
    China and India, the biggest jewellery markets, have for
years been its biggest export destinations. 
    But coronavirus lockdowns collapsed demand and Switzerland
began instead to import gold from Asia to send to the United
States and Britain, where investors stockpiled bullion to keep
their wealth safe through the turmoil of the pandemic. 
    
    
    This stockpiling pushed gold prices to record highs
around $2,000 an ounce but the dynamic weakened in October. 
    Investor demand in the west slackened, Swiss imports from
Hong Kong, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates fell sharply
and exports to Britain tumbled to 19.1 tonnes from 50.9 tonnes
in September.
    Though Switzerland shipped no gold to mainland China and
only 53 kilograms to Hong Kong, exports to India swelled to 24.3
tonnes.
    In total, Switzerland exported 90.5 tonnes of gold in
October, down from 105.9 tonnes in September and the least since
February. 
    Following are numbers for October 2020 and comparisons. 
    
    SWISS TRADE DATA (KG)
             EXPORT (kg)
     Oct-20          90,472
     Sep-20         105,913
     Oct-19         111,869
             To China  To Hong   To India  To the     To Britain
                       Kong                U.S.       
     Oct-20                  53    24,329     17,667      19,144
     Sep-20     1,500     2,428     4,952     13,457      50,901
     Oct-19     7,202       293    10,274        393      48,021
    * Source: Swiss trade data. Data subject to revision by
source.

    
 (Reporting by Peter Hobson; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
  
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