Central banks’ gold reserves keep growing

News Arnulf Hinkel, Financial Journalist – 21.09.2022

© Umicore

According to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources of the Government of Australia, 35,429 tonnes of the 210,000 tonnes of gold mined from the very start of mankind until late 2022 are already in the possession of central banks. As foreign currency reserves, they serve to secure state solvency and compensate for fluctuations in the world currency, the US dollar. Also, several central banks of emerging countries are expanding their gold reserves to reduce their economic dependence on the US currency. The current level (as of 1 August 2022) of global gold reserves is thus far only slightly below that of the record year 2021, the highest in over 30 years.

Gold reserves up 307 tonnes over first seven months of 2022

By the end of July, the central bank of Turkey had increased its gold reserves by 63.5 tonnes since January, making Turkey the largest net buyer so far in 2022. This year’s other strong net buyers were Egypt at 44.21 tonnes and Iraq at 33.97 tonnes. Across the US and Europe, central bank gold reserves remained largely unchanged. Small outflows here and there were not due to a declining regard on the part of the central banks in these regions – their gold reserves are simply already very extensive.

Europe ahead of North America

According to recently published World Gold Council data, the regionally largest gold holdings of central banks are in Western Europe. At 11,776 tonnes, 33 per cent of all gold reserves are held within the EU and neighbouring countries such as Great Britain. North America comes in second with 8,133.47 tonnes, held exclusively by the US Federal Reserve. Ranking third are Asian central banks with total gold holdings of 5,704.22 tonnes. Last and least is the Latin/South America and Caribbean region, with gold reserves of only 614.57 tonnes.

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