Central Banks

1 November, 2022

Central bank buying hits all-time quarterly record in Q3’22

  • Q3 net demand includes substantial estimate for unreported purchases
  • Turkey, Uzbekistan and Qatar amongst the biggest reported buyers during the quarter
  • This lifts y-t-d net purchases to 673t, surpassing all annual totals since 1967
Tonnes Q3'21 Q3'22 YoY % change
Central banks & others 90.6 399.3 >300

Source: Metals Focus, World Gold Council

Global central bank  purchases leapt to almost 400t in Q3 (+115% q-o-q). This is the largest single quarter of demand from this sector in our records back to 2000 and almost double the previous record of 241t in Q3 2018. It also marks the eighth consecutive quarter of net purchases and lifts the y-t-d total to 673t, higher than any other full year total since 1967. 1


Central banks bought almost 400t of gold in Q3’22

Central banks bought almost 400t of gold in Q3’22

Central banks bought almost 400t of gold in Q3’22
*Data to 30 September 2022. Source: Metals Focus, Refinitiv GFMS, World Gold Council

Sources: Metals Focus, Refinitiv GFMS, World Gold Council; Disclaimer

*Data to 30 September 2022.

The level of official sector demand in Q3 is the combination of steady reported purchases by central banks and a substantial estimate for unreported buying. This is not uncommon as not all official institutions publicly report their gold holdings or may do so with a lag. It’s also worth noting that while Metals Focus suggests purchases occurred during Q3, it’s possible they may have started earlier in the year. In turn, this may result in future revisions as more information becomes available. 

Looking at the subset of reported activity at a country level, we see that purchases and sales were again confined to a relatively small number of emerging market banks.2  Turkey remained the largest reported gold buyer this year. It added 31t in Q3, lifting its gold reserves to 489t (29% of total reserves). Year-to-date it has added 95t to gold reserves. 

The Central Bank of Uzbekistan continued to build its gold reserves, buying another 26t in Q3. It has been a consistent buyer of gold over the past two quarters, with y-t-d net purchases now standing at 28t. The Qatar Central Bank was also a significant buyer in Q3. In July, the bank bought 15t of gold, in what appears to be its largest monthly acquisition on record back to 1967 – although early data from the IMF is patchy. Following this, it seemingly added more in both August and September, but we are awaiting IMF data to confirm the exact level of buying. Its total reserves stood at 72t at the end of July, the highest on record.

The Reserve Bank of India continued with its long-standing gold purchasing strategy in Q3. It bought 13t in July and 4t in September, pushing its gold reserves to 785t. Mozambique (2t), the Philippines (2t) and Mongolia (1t) were the other notable buyers during the quarter.

Kazakhstan was the largest net seller during the quarter, reducing its gold reserves by 2t. The bank has sold a net 21t y-t-d, taking its total gold holdings to 381t (63% of total reserves). And in a statement to Bloomberg in August, the bank indicated that there may be more selling to come, however this will depend on market conditions. As we have noted previously, it is not uncommon for central banks who purchase gold from domestic sources to swing between buying and selling. More information on how the National Bank of Kazakhstan manages its gold reserves can be found on the Goldhub blog. The United Arab Emirates was the only other seller of note in Q3, reducing its gold reserves by 1t.

The continued trend of official sector demand for gold corroborates findings from our 2022 annual central bank survey, in which one-quarter of respondents stated their intention to increase gold reserves in the next 12 months (up from one-fifth in in 2021). Read more on our central bank demand expectations for the remainder of the year in the Outlook section.


  1. Official sector institutions bought a net 1,404t in 1967, based on GFMS data

  2. Country-level gross sales and purchases based on the most recent IMF IFS and respective central bank data available at the time of writing. This may not match the net central bank demand figures published in this report as Metals Focus uses additional sources of information to obtain its estimates.

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