India is hoarding Switzerland’s gold, silver
India’s love affair with gold is once again attracting global attention, as the country has recently become Switzerland’s main importer of silver and the yellow precious metal, accounting for 42% of it.
According to data from the Swiss government quoted by The Times of India, the total value of exported gold, silver and coins in the month of June stood at $4.3 billion (3.9 billion Swiss franc), of which India accounted for $1.8 billion (1.63 billion francs).
Turkey came in a distant second place, with less than $500 million Swiss franc of Swiss bullion export. Other major destinations were UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as major economies like US, UK, China, France and Germany.
The World Gold Council says that more than two-thirds of that demand comes from the country’s rural population, where practical aspects of the portability and security of jewellery as an investment has kept demand high even among the low income population.
The nation, whose appetite for gold is only rivalled by China, last year imposed a record 10% import duty and made it mandatory to export a fifth of all bullion imports, seeking to curb bullion demand that has blown out the trade deficit.