Russia's gold exports to China set new record since 2016

In October, Russian companies delivered 2.16 tons of gold worth $124.6 million to China — a record amount since 2016. Yet, Russia remains a marginal supplier in the Chinese market that is primarily dominated by suppliers from Switzerland and Canada.

Russia's gold exports to China doubled in physical terms in October compared to the same period last year, having reached 2.16 tons, the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China said, RBC reports. It goes about raw or semi-finished forms of gold.

Supplies in monetary terms also doubled up to $124.6 million. Judging by China's monthly statistics, these are the largest supplies since 2016.

In January-October 2022, Russia's exports of gold to China in unprocessed or semi-processed forms amounted to 5.72 tons, which was 1.9 times more than in the same period last year.

The volume of deliveries in money terms increased by 1.8 times up to $330 million.

At the same time, Russia remains an insignificant supplier of gold to the Chinese market:

  • Switzerland supplied gold to China worth $26.5 billion over the same period,
  • Canada — $9.7 billion,
  • South Africa — $7.7 billion,
  • Australia — by $7.2 billion,
  • Hong Kong — $2.5 billion,
  • Germany — by $775 million.

In 2021, according to the Federal Customs Service, Russia exported a total of 302.17 tons of gold in all directions. Of these, only 3.98 tons were shipped to China, according to the Chinese customs.

It goes about the supplies of gold concentrate for processing in China, Sergei Kashuba, chairman of the Union of Gold Producers of Russia said, RBC reports. The processing of certain refractory gold ores is unprofitable in Russia, so the export of such concentrate traditionally goes to China, he said.

Gold supplies to the Chinese market have increased this year because Covid restrictions and closed borders did not allow such market activities to be conducted in full. This caused Russian companies to accumulate stocks, Sergei Kashuba said.

Russia is not redirecting gold to China from the West in the form of bullion. Beijing does not buy bullion from Moscow, the official said.

In late June, the United States banned imports of gold from Russia. A month later the European Union made a similar decision. In early November, the UK expanded sanctions against the purchase of Russian gold: the country banned imports of products that contained Russian gold processed in third countries.

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