China stepped up imports of gold from Russia in 2022, data released by the country’s customs agency on Saturday showed.
Last year, China bought a total of 6.6 tons of Russian gold, worth a record $386.9 million, including shipments in both unprocessed (3.7 tons) and semi-processed form (2.9 tons).
In December alone, gold shipments from Russia to China totaled 220.2 kilograms, worth $14.85 million.
Overall, Russian gold exports to the Asian nation soared by 67.3% in physical terms and by 63.3% in monetary terms from 2021.
However, so far Russia’s share in Chinese gold purchases remains small. The main supplier of gold to China is Switzerland, with sales in 2021 totaling over $34 billion. Rounding out the top five suppliers to China are Canada, South Africa, Australia, and Hong Kong.
Russian gold exports began to fall under Western sanctions in mid-2022. The EU, UK, US, Japan, and Canada banned the purchase, import or transfer, directly or indirectly, of gold originating in Russia and exported from the country. Prior to sanctions, the UK was the largest buyer of Russian gold, having acquired 266.1 tons of the metal (88% of total exports), worth $15.4 billion, in 2021.
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