In December, central banks have reported adding a net 28t of gold to global reserves, down sharply (53%) from the previous month (60t).1 This is the ninth consecutive month of net reported additions, as central banks have resumed the trend of consistent buying which wavered at the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022. The available data – only about 50% of banks have reported data for December at the time of writing –shows that two large purchases were partially offset by one chunky sale.
Central banks resumed trend of consistent monthly net buying during 2022*
Monthly net central bank gold demand in tonnes
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) reported the largest increase in gold reserves during the month. The bank bought a further 30t, following on from the 32t it added in November. It’s gold reserves now total 2,011t (4% of total reserves). We will continue to wait and see w hether further purchases are reported by the PBoC in the coming months.
The Central Bank of Türkiye (Turkey) continued its consistent buying in December, adding another 25t to its swelling official gold reserves. 2 This brings full year net purchases to just shy of 150t, surpassing the 126t it bought in 2019 and the largest reported by any central bank in 2022. Its gold reserves now total 542t (28% of total reserves). The Reserve Bank of India also bought again in December, with gold reserves rising by 1t to 787t, while Croatia added 2t after having not reported any gold reserves since 2001.
The National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) was the largest reported seller in December, its gold reserves dropped by 29t – the largest monthly decline on record. 3 For 2022 as a whole, the NBK reduced its gold reserves by 51t to 352t (58% of total reserves). The Central Bank of Uzbekistan was also a net seller for the second consecutive month, reducing its gold reserves by just over 1t. It remains a net purchaser over the whole of 2022, increasing its holdings by 34t to 396t (62% of total reserves). It is not uncommon for central banks who purchase gold from domestic sources – as both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan do – also to be frequent sellers of gold.
2022 was a remarkable year for central bank demand for gold. While we continued to see robust demand for gold from emerging market central banks, the volume of activity – buying in particular – has been noteworthy. 4 To read our review of central bank gold demand in 2022, and our outlook for 2023, please see our recently published Gold Demand Trends Full Year and Q4 2022 report.