Central banks are net buyers of yellow metal for 11 consecutive years. According to the World Gold Council, in 2020 the volume of the world gold reserve was replenished by 272.9 tons of bullion. During the active phase of the pandemic, some banks sold their reserves and poured liquidity into the economy. Precious metal purchases were actively carried out in the first half of the year and in the last three months of 2020. 10 central banks made net purchases of yellow metal in the amount of one ton or more. Turkey led for the second year in a row, replenishing its reserves by 134.5 tons.
The rating of the 10 countries with the largest gold reserves as of April 2021 is headed by the United States - 8133.5 tons. The German figure is 3362.4 tons, which puts the country in second place. Italy ranks third with 2451.8 tons. The current reserves of precious metal in France are 2436 tons - fourth place in the ranking. The Central Bank of Russia was in fifth place, with 2295.4 tons of gold. China ranks sixth in terms of gold in reserves - 1948.3 tons. Switzerland has 1040 tons of precious metal and is in seventh place in the ranking. Japan, the eighth largest country with gold reserves, since their volume is 765.2 tons. In ninth place is India with 687.8 tons. The tenth position of the Netherlands with an indicator of 612.5 tons.
In the first quarter of 2021, central banks significantly increased gold purchases. According to experts, in only four months of 2021, the global gold reserve increased by 150-200 tons, which indicates the preservation of demand. A significant part of these purchases came from banks in Hungary (63 tons in March) and Thailand (43.5 tons in April). In recent history, these two indicators lead in the size of monthly gold purchases, slightly inferior to the example of Poland, which in June 2019 acquired 100 tons of precious metal.
The Bank of Thailand publishes weekly data on the level of the gold reserve in dollar terms. By the end of April, this figure was equivalent to $11.2 billion. In the period from April 30 to May 28, 2021, the value of the Bank's reserves increased by $3.7 billion and reached $14.9 billion. According to rough estimates, the country's gold reserve grew by 40-50 tons.
The Bank of Zambia is increasing gold reserves thanks to domestic production, buying bullion from producers. Since the beginning of this year, the active purchase of yellow metal has begun, albeit in a smaller size than the central banks of the aforementioned countries. 2100 ounces of gold were purchased each month, and in May reserves were replenished by 8,400 ounces. Zambia followed in the footsteps of Mongolia, the Philippines and several other countries that are increasing reserves due to domestic production.
The leaders of the Bank of Hungary said that the increase in the volume of purchases of precious metal in 2021 is being carried out due to the high likelihood of new risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic. Christopher Mwunga, Director of the Bank of Zambia, noted that "only gold can maintain its value during periods of economic instability. Therefore, precious metal will reliably protect our investment portfolio from major losses. "
These indicators reflect the fact that precious metal remains an important asset during times of crisis. The recovery of the world economy is in question in view of the new waves of the coronavirus pandemic. Central banks will acquire yellow metal until the coronacrisis disappears.