If you're selling gold, Russia's buying

Aside from China's surprise announcement of the purchase of more than 600 tonnes since 2009, buying by the world's central banks picked up pace in June.

Data compiled by the World Gold Council  shows Russia added 24.1 tonnes to its vaults in June, bringing its six-month haul to 67 tonnes.

Only Turkey sold gold in any quantity in June, but that came in at less than 2 tonnes. Turkey has reduced its gold reserves by 25 tonnes this year, but the fluctuation can be explained by the fact that the figures from the middle-Eastern nation also include commercial banks' gold holdings.

The People’s Bank of China's addition of 604 tonnes for a total of 1,658 tonnes makes the Asian nation the world’s fifth largest gold hoarder, ahead of Russia.

China is also the world's top gold miner, a position it has held since 2007 when it overtook South Africa, with output of 440 tonnes last year.

Gold still makes up only 1.6% of the country's $3.7 trillion in forex reserves however.

SEE ALSO: Russia stashes 55 tonnes of gold in Switzerland

That compares to more than 70% for the United States which holds 8,133 tonnes of gold in vaults.

The top percentage holder of gold in reserves is Portugal and across developed economies it's above 70% compared to 10% among emerging economies even when taking into account Venezuela's 68% of reserves.

The world's central banks changed from being net sellers of the metal in 2009 after two decades of decreasing holdings.

Image of one of Stalin's 16 goddesses representing Russia in the park of VDNH in Moscow by Boris SV.

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