Central banks continued their remarkable gold-buying spree in November and remain on pace to eclipse 2018’s near-record purchases.
According to the latest numbers from the World Gold Council, central banks added 27.9 tons on a net-basis to official gold reserves in November. That brings the yearly total for 2018 with one month left to calculate to 570.2 tons, 11% higher than the same period in the previous year.
“The scale of purchases year-to-date remains remarkable.” In his latest Goldhub blog post, Krishan Gopaul, of our research team, discusses our recently released central bank gold reserves statistics, covering November 2019: https://t.co/EY1IHqQebw pic.twitter.com/CIiLIOY0eu
— World Gold Council (@GOLDCOUNCIL) January 9, 2020
In 2018, central banks purchased just over 650 tons. According to the WGC, that was the highest level of annual net central bank gold purchases since the suspension of dollar convertibility into gold in 1971, and the second-highest annual total on record
The World Gold Council bases its data on information submitted to the International Monetary Fund.
Turkey led the pack for the third straight month, adding another 17 tons of gold to its reserves in November. The Turks have leapfrogged the Russians as the number-one gold-buyer in 2019 with over 181 tons added to their hoard. Turkish consumers are also flocking to the yellow metal. According to Bloomberg, gold demand was up 3.7% in the first nine months of 2019. The country’s government has loosened rules governing gold imports to meet the growing demand.
Russia added another 9.7 tons of gold to its reserves in November. That brings its total gold purchases to nearly 149 tons so far in 2019. Russia’s quest for gold has paid off in a big way. The Russian Central Bank’s gold reserves topped $100 billion in September thanks to continued buying and surging prices.
The Russians have been buying gold for the last several years in an effort to diversify away from the US dollar. Russian gold reserves increased 274.3 tons in 2018, marking the fourth consecutive year of plus-200 ton growth.