Eastern Gold Buying Spree Continues
Russia and Kazakhstan continued their gold buying spree in November, and Turkey added to its reserves as well. Meanwhile, India is on pace for a healthy increase in gold imports this year.
It was the 38th straight month of increasing gold reserves for Kazakhstan, according to Bloomberg:
Kazakhstan raised its stash to 7.03 million ounces in November from 6.96 million ounces a month earlier and Russia boosted assets to 44.78 million ounces from 44.07 million ounces, data on the IMF’s website showed. Turkey’s reserves increased to 16.39 million ounces from 16.10 million ounces.”
Russia’s November gold buy follows on the heels of a 34.2 ton increase in its holdings of the precious metal in September, and a 1 million ounce increase in August. Russia boasts the world’s seventh largest gold reserve.
Meanwhile, China continued to add to its reserves as well. As we reported earlier this month, the Chinese upped their stash of the yellow metal an estimated 21 tons last month, the largest increase in at least five months.
These November numbers continue a broader trend of central banks buying gold. According to Bloomberg, world-wide central bank gold purchases in the third quarter of 2015 were the second highest on record:
‘The buying trend will continue,’ Feifei Li, an analyst at Barclays Plc, said by e-mail before the data were released. Emerging market countries such as Russia, China and Kazakhstan ‘have a long-term need to increase their reserves due to portfolio and strategic reasons.’”
Many analysts believe these countries are increasing their gold holdings to minimize exposure to the US dollar. Victor Thianpiriya of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. told Bloomberg many countries have been diversifying holdings away from the dollar for years.
Indians are also continue to buy gold. According to a report in the Economic Times, Indian gold imports are on pace to eclipse 1,000 tons this year. That represents an 11% increase over last year’s number. India had already imported 850 tons through September of this year. Imports via smuggling into India are estimated at around 100 tons.
Gold is the second largest import item for India after petroleum. The Indian government has been trying to entice people to monetize their gold in order to lower imports, but have not had much success. So far, the plan has attracted less than 1 kilogram per month. Indians simply value the metal too highly to give it up.
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