Russian ruble banknotes at the gold bullion bar

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Switzerland is importing gold from Russia for the first time since the invasion of Ukraine, indicating that the industry’s attitude towards precious metals may have softened.

According to data from the Swiss Federal Customs Authority, more than 3 tons of gold were shipped from Russia to Switzerland in May. This is the first shipment between the two countries since February.

Shipments represent approximately 2% of gold imports into major refining hubs last month. It may also indicate a change in the perception of Russian bullions that became taboo after the invasion. After the London Bullion Market Association removed its manufacturer from the accreditation list, most refiners abandoned the acceptance of new gold from Russia.

This was considered a de facto ban on fresh Russian gold from the world’s largest London market, but the rules do not prohibit Russian metals from being processed by other refiners. .. Switzerland has four major gold refineries, processing two-thirds of the world’s gold.

Almost all of the gold is registered by customs for refining or other processing, indicating that one of the country’s refineries has adopted it. The four largest companies, MKS PAMP SA, Metalor Technologies SA, Argor-Heraeus SA and Valcambi SA, say they did not use metal.

In March, at least two major gold refineries refused to rebuild the Russian bar, despite being permitted by market rules. Others, such as Argor-Heraeu, have been in 2022 as long as there are documents proving that gold has not been exported from Russia since the beginning of the war and that accepting them does not benefit Russia. Russians or entities anywhere in the world who have previously stated that they will accept products refined in Russia.

Some buyers remain vigilant for Russian precious metals, including bars cast before the war. These bars are still trading in the western market. With palladium, Russian futures are at high risk of receiving ingots from Russia, creating a permanent turmoil between London spot prices and New York futures.

Switzerland has been importing small amounts of palladium from Russia, the world’s largest metal miner, since April.

© 2022 Bloomberg LP

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