Our central bank gold statistics were published today, and the latest IMF data makes for a very interesting read. Available data for July highlights central bank net purchases of 8.8t – the lowest level of monthly net purchases since December 2018 (-1.5t).
July central bank net purchases lowest since December 2018
Gross purchases totalled 27.2t, with buying continuing to be concentrated amongst recent purchasers, a trend we have seen for most of the year. Turkey (19.4t), Qatar (3.1t), India (2.8t), and Kazakhstan (1.9t) all saw gold reserves grow during the month. Gross sales, on the other hand, totalled 17.7t in July, its highest level since July 2019 (24.6t). Uzbekistan (-11.6t) and Mongolia (-6.1t) accounted for 95% of gross sales during the month, with Germany and Russia also seeing marginal declines in gold reserves of around half a tonne.
Despite the lower level of growth in global official gold reserves in July, year-to-date central banks net purchases remain comfortably above 200t. But the number of sellers is now greater than the number of buyers: 8 central banks have reduced their gold reserves (by a tonne or more) compared to 7 who have increased their gold holdings (by a tonne or more).
We continue to expect that central banks will remain net purchasers in 2020, extending their annual net buying to eleven consecutive years.
The full dataset can be downloaded here.