Today we have published the latest update to our central bank gold reserves dataset, which includes data reported by the IMF for May 2020. We encourage you to download it here but we have highlighted some of the key data points below.
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.
As we have previously mentioned, we expect central banks to remain net buyers this year, but their level of purchasing will be lower than the multi-decade record levels in 2018 and 2019.1 So far, net purchases have been indeed lower, but we have seen several central banks in 2020 allocating more to gold. Y-t-d, five central banks have increased their gold reserves by a tonne or more.