Following a record year for gold imports, Turkey’s appetite for the yellow metal is suddenly waning.
According to the country’s Hurriyet Daily, Turkey’s gold imports dropped 93% in February, compared with the same month in 2013.
The fall comes amid a rise in the gold price – going from an average of $1,214 in December to $1,264 in January – but it’s also due to the end of Turkey’s gold-for-gas deal with Iran.
Under the controversial scheme, Turkey circumvented Western sanctions by paying for Iranian oil and natural gas in gold. Turkey’s Halkbank claims these transactions ended last summer.
The country’s gold and silver imports continued to rise significantly in the last six months of 2013. In December silver imports reached their highest levels since 1999.
A drop in the Turkish lira also had an effect on the country’s gold imports which totaled 1.27 tonnes in February, according to Hurriyet.
In December Turkey brought in 32 tonnes of gold.