SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea logged a net outflow of gold not held as foreign reserve assets for the first time in four years in 2016, central bank data showed Monday.
The balance of trade in non-monetary gold was valued at a surplus of US$265 million last year, according to data by the Bank of Korea (BOK).
Non-monetary gold covers exports and imports of all gold that is not held as foreign reserve assets, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
South Korea’s exports of gold came to $1.15 billion last year, up 25.4 percent from a year earlier. In comparison, the country’s imports stood at $886.5 million in 2016, down 25.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the BOK.
The 2016 data marked the first surplus since 2012 when a net outflow of such gold reached $1.58 billion.
The increased exports came as investors sold gold to make profits by taking advantage of rising gold prices last year.
In July, gold prices soared to $1,364.90 per ounce amid political uncertainty following the British decision to leave the European Union.
Separately, South Korea’s central bank has 104.4 tons of gold as part of its foreign reserve assets.