Gold imports by Turkey, one of the top three consumers of bullion, dropped 30% in 2008, while its gold jewelry exports fell around 14%.
Consumers' reluctance to spend as the global recession reduces global liquidity is another factor that cut demand in 2008, traders said. The impact of the recession was mirrored in the exports figures to the United States. A major market for Turkish jewelry, sales to the U.S. have dropped by 54%.
Turkey's gold imports stood at 166 tonnes in 2008, compared to 230.8 tonnes in 2007 and a record 270 tonnes in 2005. In November, imports tumbled to their lowest monthly level of 15 kg as demand dried up.