Central banks continue gold-buying spree

Goldhub blog

Central banks continue gold-buying spree

Krishan Gopaul
Market Intelligence Group
World Gold Council

Posted:

As we do every month, we have now published our widely watched central bank statistics. These figures give a clear view of central bank activity and how gold reserves are evolving. 

No cooling off period. The initial data for April – released by the IMF – shows demand remains in rude health. Net purchases amounted to healthy 43t, 8% higher month-on-month. Combined gross purchases (over one tonne) in April amounted to 45t, a similar level to March, while gross sales (again over one tonne) totalled just under 2t.

Reported net purchases for 2019 so far total 207t, the highest year-to-date total since central banks became net buyers in 2010. (And it’s not even close – see chart.) This could be viewed as a strong statement of intent towards gold, especially given this follows the highest level of annual purchases for 50 years.

 

At a more granular level, gold demand in April shared many of the same characteristics as Q1: 

  • A total of five central banks reported an increase in gold reserves – above a tonne – over the month. This brings the total number of central banks who have grown gold reserves by a tonne or more in 2019 to eight – accounting for net purchases of 212t between January and April.
  • As Shaokai highlighted here, gold demand has been in concentrated amongst emerging market central banks. And April, and 2019 as a whole, was no different: Russia, Turkey, China, Kazakhstan and India are leading the year-to-date buying.
  • Germany was the only bank to report a decline in gold reserves by more than a tonne - on a net basis – in April. This was due to it’s long-standing coin minting programme.