Gold import curb helps lower current account gap: Ministry

A monthly quota introduced in August last year on unprocessed gold imports is helping reduce the current account deficit, the Treasury and Finance Ministry has said.

Under the current regulation, there is a monthly quota of 12 tons of unprocessed gold imports.

The import of unprocessed gold declined by $6.8 billion in the first two months of 2024 from the same period of last year to $2.1 billion, while the gold import volume dropped by 77.9 percent to 33.1 tons, the ministry said in a statement.

The 12-month rolling current account deficit was $31.8 billion as of February, it added.

"It is evaluated that the improvement in the current account balance is expected to continue in the coming period and that the gold trade balance will continue to contribute positively to this outlook," the ministry said.

From August, when the quota was introduced, to the end of 2023, unprocessed gold imports declined by $3.2 billion to $10.3 billion, while imports in terms of quantity fell by 32.7 percent to 169.6 tons from the same period of the previous year, according to the ministry.

In 2022, Türkiye's unprocessed gold imports surged more than 200 percent to 379.2 tons, or $20.4 billion, while imports stood at around 320 tons, or $19.2 billion, in the first seven months of 2023, the statement said.

Net gold imports accounted for $19.4 billion, or 39 percent, of the $49.1 billion of current account deficit in 2022. In the first seven months of last year, the current account deficit was $42.3 billion, while net gold imports amounted to $17.7 billion, corresponding to 42 percent of this deficit, according to the ministry.

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