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Turkey’s Gold Imports Climb to Eight-Month High as Prices Slide

April 2 (Bloomberg) -- Turkey’s gold imports climbed to an eight-month high in March as prices averaged the lowest since May, according to the Istanbul Gold Exchange. Silver imports rose 31 percent from a month earlier.

Gold imports increased to 18.26 metric tons, the most since July. That’s up from 17.34 tons in February and compared with 2.91 tons a year earlier, data on the exchange’s website show. The country shipped in 120.8 tons last year.

Turkey was the fourth-biggest gold consumer in 2012, according to the London-based World Gold Council. Bullion averaged $1,593.62 an ounce last month and is trading about 17 percent below the record $1,921.15 set in September 2011. Prices are down 4.9 percent this year on mounting confidence that the U.S. economy is strengthening and as Federal Reserve policy makers debated the pace of asset purchases.

Silver imports advanced to 6.19 tons in March, the most since January, according to the bourse. The nation imported 142.2 tons last year. Silver averaged $28.8157 in March, the lowest since July. The metal for immediate delivery traded at $27.9913 in London today. A close at $28.007 would be a 20 percent drop from Oct. 4, the common definition of a bear market.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicholas Larkin in London at nlarkin1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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