The Turkish Trade Ministry announced on Tuesday that country’s gold imports surged 543% to $3.1 billion in September, as annual inflation accelerated to a fresh 24-year high of 83.45% in September.
Turkey’s total trade deficit jumped 298% year on year to $10.384 billion in September, the Trade Ministry revealed in a statement. Exports advanced 9.2% to $22.62 billion, while imports surged 41.5% to $33 billion, it added.
Energy imports rose 115% to $9.56 billion last month, which marked the highest monthly level on record.
The latest data from the ministry show that energy imports were about a third of total imports in the first nine months of the year. Turkey supplies energy mainly from Russia.
In the meantime, gold-supplying banks reduced shipments to India and focused more on China and Turkey due to better premiums, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
“Buyers in China and Turkey are right now paying a very high premium. There is no comparison when we equate it with the Indian market,” officials told Reuters.
The annual inflation in the country stood at 83.45% in September, which marked the highest level since July 1998. Moreover, transport prices rose nearly 118% and food and non-alcoholic drinks climbed 93.05%.
Despite surging inflation, Turkey’s central bank reduced interest rates from 14% at the beginning of the year to 12%. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has promised further cuts.
“Monetary policy decisions have become disconnected from macro fundamentals and have become almost irrelevant for short-term inflation dynamics,” JP Morgan said in a recent statement.