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Feb 23 - 12:55 AM

ANZ: Central Banks' Gold Buying Trends

By eFXdata  —  Feb 22 - 04:30 PM


ANZ outlines the significant shift in gold buying patterns among central banks, highlighting a move from developed market (DM) central banks being net sellers to a stabilization of holdings, and emerging market (EM) central banks significantly increasing their gold reserves.

Key Points:

  • DM Central Banks: Holding 57% of global official gold reserves, these banks transitioned from net sellers (offloading about 3,687 tons between 2000-2010) to stabilizing or increasing their gold holdings post-2010.
  • EM Central Banks: Now account for 30% of global official gold reserves, up from 19.7% before 2010, with notable buying spurts in 2015, 2018, and 2022.
  • Top EM Buyers: Russia, China, and Turkey lead, collectively adding 3,289 tons (62% of total purchases) since 2010. India, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Poland, Thailand, and Iraq are also prominent buyers.
  • Russia's Buying Spree: Accelerated gold purchases in 2014 in response to sanctions, increasing gold's share in its reserves from 9% to 26% by the end of 2023, mostly between 2014-2019.
  • China's Gold Strategy: The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) embarked on sporadic gold-buying sprees over the last decade, with a notable uptick during the US-China trade war in early 2018 and continued buying since late-2022, taking its holdings to 2,235 tons by end-2023, which is 4.3% of its total reserves.
  • EM Central Banks' Gold Share: The share of gold in the foreign reserve holdings of EM central banks has been rising, notably after 2018, reaching 7.3%, nearly doubling over the last decade.


The strategic shift towards gold among central banks, especially within EMs, signifies a diversification of foreign reserves and a hedge against geopolitical risks and economic uncertainties. This trend underscores gold's appeal relative to other reserve assets, particularly in light of recent global economic shocks and elevated geopolitical tensions.

ANZ Research/Market Commentary


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