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WGC: Net Gold Purchases by Central Banks Surged 42% in Q1 This Year

WGC: Net Gold Purchases by Central Banks Surged 42% in Q1 This Year

May 15, 2018


The Gold Demand Trends Report-Q1 2018 published by the World Gold Council indicates considerable jump in quarterly gold purchases by world central banks. The net gold purchases by central banks surged higher by 42% over the previous year. The purchases totaled 116.5t in Q1 this year, when compared with the purchases which totaled 82.2t in Q1 last year. The purchases hit the highest Q1 levels since 2014.According to WGC, Russia continued to remain as the top purchaser of gold. The Russian gold reserves expanded by 41.7t during first quarter this year. The country’s gold reserves currently stands at 1,890.8t, accounting for 18% of total reserves. The Russian authorities still believe in gold’s potential as a strategic asset and the increased purchases during the quarter reiterates this view, WGC noted.


The second largest net gold buyer was Turkey. The country’s gold reserves surged higher by 29.8t during the initial three-month period of 2018 to touch 231.9t. The Turkish gold holdings have almost doubled since May 2017. In third place was Kazakhstan with net gold purchases totaling 9.1t during the quarter. Since October 2012, Kazakhstan’s gold reserves have increased by nearly 200%.The combined purchases by Russia, Turkey and Kazakhstan accounted for nearly 50% of the overall net gold purchases.


The other net gold buyers during the quarter were Colombia and Kyrgyz Republic, which increased their gold reserves by 2.5t and 1t respectively. There were only few sellers. Germany reduced its gold reserves marginally by 1.4t. Qatar and Ukraine too reduced their gold holdings by 3.1t and 1.2t respectively.The quarterly gold purchases were in line with long-term average purchases. WGC noted that average quarterly purchases totaled approximately 115t since 2010 and that net purchases have become more concentrated since then.