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.
For more information see our Gold Demand Trends report.
Initial estimates for April suggest that central banks added a net 69.4t to global gold official reserves. Gross purchases of 74.1t were almost entirely accounted for by five central banks: Thailand made the largest gold purchase during the month, adding 43.5t, while Turkey (13.4t), Uzbekistan (8.4t), Kazakhstan (4.6t), and Kyrgyzstan (3.8t) were the other two familiar buyers. The only sellers of note were Russia and Germany. Russian gold reserves declined by 3.1t in May, matching the drop we saw in January. Based on available information, it seems some of this sale may, again, be related to its coin-minting programme. German gold reserves fell by 1.3t, similarly in relation to coin minting.
This chart was updated in June 2021 and reports data available at that time. Data are taken from the International Monetary Fund's International Financial Statistics (IFS), June 2021 edition, and other sources where applicable. IFS data are two months in arrears, so holdings are as of April 2021 for most countries, March 2021 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.