As gold rose above the $2,000 level last month, some central banks turned to selling the precious metal, according to the World Gold Council.
The biggest gold buyer of 2022 — Turkey — sold 15 tonnes of gold in March, the WGC said. This marked the first monthly net sale since November 2021 and lowered the country’s reserves to 572 tonnes.
Turkey’s official gold reserves rose by 148 tonnes last year, marking the highest level on record.
Another bank that offloaded some gold was the National Bank of Kazakhstan, which sold 10.5 tonnes in March. However, Kazakhstan was a seller even before March. Year-to-date, the Bank reduced its gold holdings by 19.6 tonnes. The country’s total gold reserves are now at 332 tonnes – the lowest since August 2018.
Also, the WGC estimated that China’s gold consumption could slow after the country went on a shopping spree in the last five months.
“Seasonality patterns suggest a slowdown in local gold consumption, which could weigh on wholesale gold demand in April and May. In addition, the elevated local gold price and budget diversion from tourism and other consumption needs may add further pressure,” the WGC said in a report.
In the meantime, China continues to be one of the biggest official gold buyers this year.
In March, the People’s Bank of China bought 18 tonnes of gold, its fifth consecutive monthly purchase. This brought Q1 acquisitions to 58 tonnes and total gold reserves to 2,068 tonnes.
Overall, central banks continue to be interested in adding more gold to their reserves. January and February marked the strongest start to the year since at least 2010, the WGC said, citing the precious metal’s safe-haven properties and the global de-dollarization trend.
Global gold reserves increased by 52 tonnes in February, followed by January’s 74 tonnes. And that comes on the heels of last year’s record levels of 1,136 tonnes.
India is also starting to play a more significant role. The Reserve Bank of India bought 3.5 tonnes of gold bullion last month, raising its Q1 total to 7.3 tonnes, said WGC’s senior analyst Krishan Gopaul. The central bank now holds 794.6 tonnes of gold in its reserves.
Russia also recently disclosed that it bought one million ounces (31 tonnes) of gold between February 2022 and March 2023.
Source : Kitco