Significant Changes YTD in World Gold Holdings

The World Gold Council  has just updated its tabulation of global gold reserves country-by country – and the accompanying table of country-by-country reported changes year to date makes for interesting reading at looking at gold flows in and out of global central banks.  The tabulation of significant (+1 tonne total) changes in gold holdings on a month by month basis is set out below:

Country Jan Feb Mar Apr May June Jul Aug Sept Net Total
Belarus -1 3 2.5 -3 1.5
China* 604.3 19 16.2 14.9 654.4
El Salvador -5.4 -5.4
Germany -0.8 -2.4 -3.2
Jordan 3.4 8.1 2.5 0.9 7.5 22.4
Kazakhstan 1.7 2.7 2.3 2.4 2.6 2.3 2.5 2.1 3.2 21.8
Malaysia 0.6 0.6 0.3 0.6 2.1
Mauritius 1 1
Mongolia -1 -0.1 -0.3 0.7 1.0 -0.9 -0.6 -1.2
Russia -0.5 30.5 8.3 4.3 24.1 13.1 29.6 34.5 143.9
Turkey** -14.2 -4.6 2.7 -6.5 -1.9 -4.8 17.2 0.6  -13.2 -24.7
Ukraine 0.3 2.2 0.9 3.4
UAE 2.6 -0.1 2.4 0.1 0.1 5.1

Source: World Gold Council, IMF, lawrieongold

*China figure includes big gold reserve accumulation reported in July, but applicable to an unreported reserve build-up over the previous 6 years.

** Turkey’s reserve figures are somewhat anomalous as they include holding held in the country’s commercial banking system and are thus prone to be far more volatile on a month-by-month basis.

Looking at annual Central Bank gold purchases, if we strip out the big Chinese reported addition to reserves reported in June (which was an accumulation built up over the prior 6 years) and replace that with a nominal 15 tonnes a month for the first nine months of the year – the kind of level it is reporting now on a month by month basis.  And also strip out the anomalous Turkey total, we look to be heading for total central bank purchases, net of sales,  for the full year of around 440 tonnes which is pretty much on target from analysts forecasts.

With the major monthly buyers – Russia, China, Kazakhstan, and perhaps Jordan – seemingly committed to ongoing gold reserve increases there seems to be little reason why these shouldn’t continue into 2016 and beyond.

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