Central Banks Were Net Gold Buyers for a Tenth Consecutive Year

15 central banks made net purchases of a tonne or more, highlighting continued breadth of demand

  • Central banks added 650.3t to global official gold reserves in 2019, 1% lower y-o-y
  • 15 central banks made net purchases of a tonne or more, highlighting continued breadth of demand
  • This marks ten consecutive years of net purchases, with global official reserves now 5,000t higher than end-2009 at ~34,700t.
Tonnes 2018 2019 YoY
Central banks & others 656.2 650.3 -1%

In the fourth quarter of 2019 central banks added a net 109.6t to global official gold reserves, 34% lower y-o-y. Added to net purchases in the first three quarters, this brought full-year net purchases to 650.3t, just 1% shy of the 2018 total (656.2t).

Central bank net purchases in 2019 were remarkable. The annual total of 650.3t is the second highest level of annual purchases for 50 years, highlighting the importance central banks place on having an allocation to gold in their reserve portfolio. The highest level was recorded in 2018 and buying in 2019 was not widely expected to repeat these levels for a second consecutive year.

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