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The embargo on Russian gold: another mosquito bite or should I worry?

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Yesterday, four out of seven G7 countries announced their intention to impose an embargo on gold imports from Russia. Let’s figure out what this means for the precious metal market and are sanctions as terrible as they are painted?

The 3-day G-7 summit kicked off in Germany on Sunday. As expected, the central issue was the situation in Ukraine. Politicians discuss new sanctions against Russia.

This time, the G7 decided to step up their pressure on the Kremlin by encroaching on the “sacred” – the export of gold, which annually enriches Moscow by billions of dollars.

Russia is the world’s second largest producer of the yellow metal. It accounts for 9.5% of world supplies. Last year alone, the sale of bullion brought the Russian economy more than $15 billion.

As conceived by some representatives of the G-7, the new sanctions should further cut off the oxygen to Moscow, depriving it of the ability to trade gold on international markets.

At the moment, the idea of an embargo on Russian gold has been supported by four countries that are members of the “Big Seven”: America, Canada, Great Britain and Japan.

Moreover, the British authorities were quick to declare that “this measure will have a global scope.” But is it really so? How much can a ban on gold imports from Russia affect its economy and the precious metal market in general?

According to analysts, the decision of the G7 countries will not be a crushing blow for the Russian economy, but another mosquito bite.

To prove this version, let’s turn to statistics. Today, central banks account for only 10% of the total global gold consumption, while the jewelry industry consumes more than 60%.

At the same time, the key consumers of the yellow metal in the jewelry industry are not the G7 countries at all, but China, India and the Middle East.

Based on this, it can be assumed that the impact of new sanctions on the Russian economy will not be as significant as the Kremlin’s opponents would like.

Also, there is no need to talk about big shocks for the gold market. Many experts are inclined to believe that the plan of some G-7 countries to ban gold imports from Russia is nothing more than a formality, since in fact the embargo is already in place.

Recall that the European and US markets were closed for Russian gold in early March, when the London Bullion Market Association excluded Russian gold miners from its list of trusted suppliers.

Given all this, analysts do not see the prerequisites for a significant increase in the cost of gold, despite the initial market reaction to reports of a possible embargo. Spot gold is up 0.5% this morning to $1,835.41 an ounce.

The main pricing factor in the precious metal market will continue to be macroeconomics, experts are certain. The tightening of monetary policy by central banks will continue to put strong pressure on bullion.

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