Latest figures out of Russia’s central bank state that it has increased its gold reserves in April by 500,000 ounces (15.6 tonnes), which is exactly the same amount the bank reported as its reserve increase in March as well. While February’s reserve increase was reported at 300,000 ounces, January’s was 700,000 ounces. This means that the average month on month increase this year has been 500,000 ounces suggesting that the bank may be planning to increase reserves by this amount on a regular monthly basis throughout the year. This would put a projected annual reserve increase of 6 million ounces – or around 187 tonnes.
Some see this increase in gold as reserves – as they do for China which has also increased reserves by around 46 tonnes so far this year – as an ongoing move to diversify reserves away from the U.S. dollar related bonds. This could be because they see the dollar as likely to depreciate over time, or it could be a political move in Russia’s case in particular given that relations between it and the U.S. are somewhat strained.