Updated official sector gold reserve stats show no Central Bank sales - only purchases

According to a report just released by the World Gold Council, central banks are only making significant purchases of gold and no significant sales. Many banks have increased their gold holdings after many years of not making any kinda of purchases.

Author: Lawrence Williams
Posted: Thursday , 12 May 2011

The latest table of official sector gold holdings from the World Gold Council shows some substantial purchases, but no significant sales

London -

The World Gold Council, which regularly monitors official gold reserve statistics, has just released its latest figures, which show some significant purchases by Central Banks, but no significant sales.

As we have already reported on Mineweb, Mexico acquired 14.8 and 78.5 tonnes of gold in February and March, respectively being a hugely significant increase in its gold holdings, raising Mexico's position in the table to the 34th largest holder of gold with 100.2 tonnes. The increase represented a massive 1,352% rise in its gold reserves! What is unknown at this stage is whether the country carried on with gold purchases in April, improving its position further.

In its official press release on the purchase, the Banco de Mexico indicated that its acquisition of gold was in line with prudent diversification principles of reserves management. The WGC comments that the acquisition was likely motivated by a need to diversify its rapidly expanding foreign reserves, which increased from approximately $75 billion to $120 billion between Q1 2007 and Q1 2011.

The WGC reports that additionally Thailand also reported an increase in its gold reserves of 9.3 tonnes in March, raising its total gold holdings to 108.9 tonnes. This follows an acquisition of 15 tonnes in July of last year. Finally, of the reported increases, Russia continues to regularly add gold to its reserves, adding 22.5 tonnes between January and March. Russia is the 8thlargest holder of gold.

The latest statistics show no significant selling by the signatory central banks in Year 2 of the third Central Bank Gold Agreement (CBGA3).

Of course it is thought that there are also some other countries which may be increasing gold holdings without reporting them immediately. China in particular is widely assumed to be bringing much, if not all, of its domestic gold production of approaching 400 tonnes per year if one includes by product output from imported base metals concentrates, into state holdings, if not directly into the Central Bank itself at this stage.

The World Gold Council's updated table of official gold holdings can be found at http://www.gold.org/government_affairs/gold_reserves/ (Free registration is required to access the figures.)

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