For the first time in a long time, there has been a change in gold stock kept under the pillow. Gold under the pillow, which could not be included in the formal economy for years, declined in January this year. According to the calculations made by QNB Finansbank economists, the gold stock under the pillow decreased by USD 1.1 billion in January.
According to calculations made by QNB Finansbank Treasury Department economists, the gold stock under the pillow, which increased by USD 45 billion from May 2022 to September 2023, fell by USD 1.1 billion for the first time in January 2024 after a significant slowdown in the last quarter of last year.
QNB Finansbank economists emphasized that this shows that gold investments, which had shifted under the pillow in the previous period, tended to return to the financial system with the effect of stability-oriented policies.
In the report prepared by QNB Finansbank Economists Erkin Işık, Deniz Çiçek and Kaan Özçelikkale, it was reminded that there is a significant amount of gold investment in Turkey, most of which is under the pillow, and it was stated that although there is no official data published on its size, an estimated figure can be reached using foreign trade and domestic production data. For the calculation, the report used the monthly gold import/export figures published by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) in dollar terms and monthly average gold prices to calculate the gold data in tons.
Total gold stock 5,096 tons
The economists said that they added the domestic gold production published on a monthly basis to the net gold imports calculated in this way, and according to the calculation they have made since 1992, the total gold stock in the country was 5,096 tons, or USD 333 billion, at the end of January. Considering that there was a certain amount of gold stock in the country before this date, the report noted that the actual amount is probably slightly higher than this.
As of 2017, domestic gold stock increased again due to the decline in gold exports and the strengthening dollarization trend, and it was emphasized in the report that this trend slowed down in the second half of last year.
USD 1.1 billion decline in January
The report noted that the gold stock registered with the CBRT and banks was 1,100 tons as of January 2024, while the remaining gold reserves, which remain unregistered, were estimated at 3,997 tons (USD 260 billion). In 2020, this gold stock declined to 2,900 tons, possibly due to the use of under-pillow investments in difficult economic conditions, but then started to increase again, according to the report. After increasing by USD 43.5 billion from May 2022 to September 2023, the rate of increase slowed down significantly in the last quarter of last year. In January this year, the stock of gold under the mattress dropped by USD 1.1 billion. This showed that gold investments, which had shifted under the pillow in the previous period, tended to return to the financial system with the effect of stability-oriented policies.
Turkey’s gold imports decreased to 16.09 tons in December compared to the previous month. 22.31 tons of gold was imported in November and 41.22 tons of gold was imported in December 2022.