Swiss exports of gold to mainland China surged in January to their highest since December 2016, data showed on Thursday.
But shipments of bullion to India fell in the same period, according to Swiss customs data.
China imported 70,000kg of Swiss gold, up from 14,000kg in December 2021. Hong Kong imports, dropped, however, to 5,761kg from 3,804 kg the previous month.
Swiss exports of gold to India totalled 11,677kg, down from 28,307kg in December.
Total gold shipped from Switzerland amounted to 115,746kg, up from 97,202 in December, the data showed.
China and India are the largest consumers of gold, while Switzerland is the world’s biggest refining and transit centre.
Strong demand from China has helped to support gold prices, which are up about 4% this year.
Gold prices on Thursday rose above $1,900 for the first time since June as investors flocked to the safety of bullion after the US administration said there was every indication Russia was planning to invade Ukraine.
Spot gold jumped 1.7% to $1,899.84 per ounce by 2.22pm eastern US time after hitting its highest since June 11 at $1,900.99 earlier.
Gold “offers inflation protection at a time of surging prices and the prospect of higher oil and gas prices, if Russia does invade,” Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at foreign exchange brokerage OANDA, said in a note.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell