Central banks bought a further 50 tonnes on a net basis during November 2022, representing a 47% increase from October’s (revised) 34 tonnes, the latest World Gold Council data shows.
Of this net total, three central banks accounted for gross buying of 55 tonnes, while two largely contributed to gross sales of 5 tonnes, showing the strength of demand, says WGC.
The biggest announcement of the month came from the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), which reported an increase of 32 tonnes, the largest reported purchase in November and the first announced increase in its gold reserves since September 2019.
This announcement is significant – according to the WGC – given China’s historic position as a large gold buyer, having accumulated 1,448 tonnes between 2002 and 2019. It remains to be seen whether this is followed up with reports of continued buying in December. At the end of November, PBoC gold reserves stood at 1,980 tonnes (3.4% of total reserves).
The Central Bank of Türkiye continued to buy gold in November, adding a further 19 tonnes to its official reserves (central bank plus Treasury). This lifts its year-to-date net purchases of gold to 123 tonnes – the largest reported by any country – and its official gold reserves to 517 tonnes (27% of total reserves).
The Central Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic added to its gold reserves for the first time this year, buying 3 tonnes in November to increase its total gold reserves to 16 tonnes (+61% YTD).
On the sales side, the National Bank of Kazakhstan and the Central Bank of Uzbekistan were the largest sellers. Kazakhstan reduced its gold reserves by around 4 tonnes to 380 tonnes (-5% YTD), while Uzbekistan’s gold reserves fell by almost 2 tonnes to 397 tonnes, 10% higher YTD.
“We have noted previously that it is not uncommon for central banks who purchase gold from domestic sources – as both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan do – to also be frequent sellers of gold,” notes Krishan Gopaul, senior analyst EMEA at WGC.
“The central bank sector has been one of the highlights of the gold market in 2022, having bought a net 673 tonnes between Q1 and Q3. Looking ahead to the full year picture, it’s likely that central banks accumulated a multi-decade high level of gold in 2022,” Gopaul adds.