Central banks collectively added 111t to their gold reserves in Q3, 25% more than the same period in 2016. This brings y-t-d demand from this sector to a healthy 289.6t. The third quarter was something of a familiar tale: Russia accounted for the bulk of purchases, with Kazakhstan and Turkey also increasing reserves.
Echoing recent years, the Central Bank of Russia was by far the largest purchaser. It accumulated 63t in Q3, pushing gold reserves to 1,778.9t (17% of total reserves). On a y-t-d basis, Russian gold reserves have risen by almost 164t, around 35t more than in the same period of 2016 and 112t more than the second largest purchaser, Turkey.1
After returning to the market to purchase gold in Q2, the Central Bank of Turkey continued to grow its gold reserves. During Q3, Turkey bought 30.4t. Reserves (excluding commercial bank holdings) reached 167.4t at the end of September, more than 50t higher than at the end of April this year.
Kazakhstan purchased 10.3t during the quarter. Its central bank has now increased gold reserves each month for the last five years, accumulating 185.3t.