Gold plays an important part in central banks’ reserves management, and they are significant holders of gold. This gold reserve data – compiled using IMF IFS statistics – tracks central banks’ reported purchases and sales along with gold as a percentage of their international reserves.
Central bank net purchases totalled 39.8t in May, in line with net purchases in March and April, and above the monthly average of 35t over the first four months of this year. On a y-t-d basis, IMF data shows that net purchases are now 181t, 31% lower than the same period in 2019. Buyers were few and far between during the month, with only two banks increasing their gold reserves significantly (of a tonne or more) during the month. Turkey was once again the largest purchaser, increasing reserves (ex ROM) by 36.8t, while Uzbekistan’s gold reserves also grew during the month, rising by 6.8t. In May, only Mongolia saw their gold reserves decline significantly, by 3.3t. On a y-t-d basis, six central banks have now decreased their gold reserves, totalling 31.8t.
This chart was updated in June 2020 and reports data available at that time. Data are taken from the International Monetary Fund's International Financial Statistics (IFS), June 2020 edition, and other sources where applicable. IFS data are two months in arrears, so holdings are as of April 2020 for most countries, March 2020 or earlier for late reporters. Where the World Gold Council knows of movements that are not reported to the IMF or misprints, changes have been made
The percentage share held in gold of total foreign reserves is calculated by the World Gold Council. The value of gold holdings is calculated using the end of quarter LBMA Gold Price, which is published daily by ICE Benchmark Administration for the value of other reserves are taken from IFS, table ‘Total Reserves minus Gold’.
Length and frequency
Quarterly official gold holdings from 2000, as well as the latest available month-end data for the Top 100 holders.
Monthly and annual detailed changes in gold reserves from January 2002.
Annual sales by CBGA signatories from 1999.
Monthly files are updated within the first 10 days of the month (with data two months in arrears). Quarterly data is updated a month after the end of the quarter.
Holdings are given in tonnes, US$ value and % of total reserves. Changes in holdings are measured in tonnes.