Switzerland exported 192.8 tonnes of gold in October, according to official Swiss Customs Administration statistics, an increase of 13 percent on the September total.
Of these exports, 75.1 tonnes of gold, including gold plated with platinum, in unwrought forms or for non-monetary purposes, was shipped to India during its key Hindu festival season.
Total imports of gold into India in October were almost 150 tonnes – other sources suggest 138 tonnes – so around 50 percent of India’s gold for year’s busiest period of buying in India came from Switzerland.
Total exports in September to India from Switzerland totalled 58.4 tonnes out of overall exports of 171 tonnes.
The move coincides with the cheaper gold price during October – spot gold hit a low of $1,161 per ounce last month, down from a 2014 peak of $1,388.70.
“These volumes confirm the strength of physical demand in October. It will be interesting to see how November volumes stack up to last month’s flow, considering the pick-up in physical demand, particularly in the first half of the month as prices touched four-year lows,” UBS’ Edel Tully said.
Furthermore, the Swiss statistics shed some light on gold imports into China, which does not publish official figures for incoming shipments of gold. Switzerland shipped 42.5 tonnes of gold to China, almost triple the total of 13 tonnes in September.
The lack of demand for physical metal in China has been widely reported in recent weeks, with Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) premiums floating between $0-1 over spot for 1kg bars, down from $6 in October.
“With China’s underwhelming response to lower prices this month, it is important to see how much other regions have had to step up to pick up the slack,” Tully added.
In Hong Kong, 25.7 tonnes was imported in October from Switzerland, up from 24 tonnes in the previous month.
Imports into Singapore from Switzerland more than halved to nine tonnes in October from 20.1 tonnes in September.
(Editing by Mark Shaw)