Swiss trade surplus hits record, Vietnam gold imports plunge
The Swiss trade surplus hit a record in May, with imports plunging during the month as gold imports from Vietnam vanished, the Swiss customs authority said on Thursday.
Trade surplus for the month reached 3.3 billion francs (2.6 billion euros, $3.9 billion), boosted by three more working days in May than a year ago.
When stripped of this positive effect, trade surplus "stagnated as imports -- Vietnam effect -- collapsed."
Vietnam has been sending billions worth of gold ornaments to Switzerland, a key gold smelting country, over recent years to be melted down into bars.
In May however, Switzerland noted that the "disappearance of the gold ornaments imported from Vietnam" shaved 918 million francs off imports.
According to Vietnamese media, authorities are working on a decree which proposes to tighten restrictions on gold trading, including for export.
© 2011 AFP