Turkey’s September Gold Imports Surge 1,700% as Individuals Trade Lower Pound With Precious Metal

Turkey’s gold imports of just over 39,000 kilograms in September 2022 are more than 16 times the amount imported into the country in September 2021. Turkey’s increased gold imports would be boosted by the increase in demand for the precious metal by individuals and entities that use it in foreign currency transactions.

“Gold instead of Turkish Lira”

According to precious metals and diamonds market data from Borsa Istanbul, the amount of gold imported into inflation-ridden Turkey in September 2022 was more than 1,700% higher than the amount imported into the country during the same period last year.

The country’s transport in September of 39,000 kilograms (kg) brings the total amount of precious metal imported by Turks in 2022 to 140,126 kg. As noted in a report published by the Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s January 2010 import figure of 44,210 kg remains the largest in the country.

Explaining why Turkey is seeing an increase in the amount of gold imported into the country, Tuna Çetinkaya, deputy general manager of Info Investment, is said to have linked the increase in demand to identity requirements for buying currencies. He said:

This regulation has led people or entities with large currencies [foreign exchange] request to use gold instead of Turkish lira in foreign currency transactions.

The depreciation of the lira

Since January 2020, when its official exchange rate stood at just under 5.50 lira per dollar, the Turkish currency has depreciated by more than 300%. As of this writing, one dollar buys 18.58 lira. The depreciation of the currency, coupled with the surge in the inflation rate, which stood at 83.45% in September 2022, forces the Turks to demand alternative stores of value.

Report: Turkey's gold imports in September rose 1,700% as individuals trade the lower pound with the precious metal

In addition to gold, the Turks also imported large amounts of silver during the same period – just over 68,000 kg. The latest figure is almost double the 36,417 kg imported in September 2021. Besides demanding precious metals, Turks also use digital currencies like bitcoin and stablecoin tether.

As Bitcoin.com News recently reported, Turkey is home to the largest cryptocurrency market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

What are your thoughts on this story? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is an award-winning journalist, author and writer in Zimbabwe. He has written extensively on the economic issues of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide an escape route for Africans.

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