Imports of Russian gold into China in October amounted to 2.16 tons, marking a seven-year high, business daily RBK reported this week, citing data from China’s General Administration of Customs.
In monetary terms, Russian exports of gold in raw and semi-manufactured forms to China reportedly doubled, having totalled $124.6 million.
In the ten months through October, Chinese gold imports from Russia amounted to 5.72 tons, which is 1.9 times more than in the same period in 2021. In monetary terms, deliveries in January-October soared 1.8 times to $330 million.
Despite the significant surge, Russian gold producers are still far down on the list of China’s biggest suppliers. Switzerland shipped $26.5 billion-worth of gold to China during the first ten months of the current year, while Canada’s exports amounted to $9.7 billion. South African sales of the precious metal to China totalled $7.7 billion, while Australia and Germany exported $7.2 billion and $775 million respectively.
Russia’s total exports of gold amounted to 302.17 tons in 2021, the country’s Customs Service reported earlier this year. According to the data from Chinese customs, only 3.98 tons were delivered to China back then.
Shipments of Russian gold to China have soared to a record high this year mostly due to the previous drop in deliveries that was linked to Covid-related restrictions, Chairman at Gold Producers’ Union Sergey Kashuba told the media, adding that Russian producers stockpiled a lot of gold because of lockdowns.
The expert highlighted that supplies to China were not redirected from Western markets, explaining that buyers there purchased gold in the form of bullion, which is not typical for Chinese importers.
In March, the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) suspended the membership of six Russian precious metals refiners, saying that they would no longer be accepted as Good Delivery by the London Bullion market until further notice. The step came amid the sanctions imposed on Moscow over its military operation in Ukraine.