China and Russia are Acquiring Gold, Dumping US Dollars

There is evidence that central banks in several regions of the World are building up their gold reserves. What is published are the official purchases.

A large part of these Central Bank purchases of gold bullion are not disclosed. They are undertaken through third party contracting companies, with utmost discretion.

US dollar holdings and US dollar denominated debt instruments are in effect being traded in for gold, which in turn puts pressure on the US dollar.

In turn, both China and Russia have boosted domestic production of gold, a large share of which is being purchased by their central banks:

It has long been assumed that China is surreptitiously building up its gold reserves through buying local production. Russia is another major gold miner where the Central bank has been purchasing gold from another state entity, Gokhran, which is the marketing arm and central repository for the country’s mined gold production. Now it has been reported by Bloomberg that the Venezuelan Central Bank director, Jose Khan, has said that country will boost its gold reserves through purchasing more than half the gold produced from its rapidly growing domestic gold mining industry.

In Russia, for example, Gokhran sold some 30 tonnes of gold to the Central Bank in an internal accounting exercise late last year. In part, so it was said at the time, the direct sale was made rather than placing the metal on the open market and perhaps adversely affecting the gold price.

China is currently the world’s largest gold producer and last year it confirmed it had raised its own Central Bank gold holdings by more than 450 tones over the previous six years.

Venezuela taking own gold production into Central Bank reserves – GOLD NEWS | Mineweb

The 450 tons figure corresponds to an increase in the gold reserves of the central bank from 600 tons in 2003 to 1054 tons in 2009. If we go by official statements, China’s gold reserves are increasing by approximately 10 percent per annum.

China has risen to now be the largest gold producing nation in the world at around 270 tonnes. The amount bought in by the government initially looks like 90 tonnes per annum or just under, 2 tonnes a week. Before 2003 the announcement by the Chinese central bank that gold reserves had been doubled to 600 tonnes, accounted for similar purchases before that date. Why so small an amount you may well ask? We think local and national issues clouded the central bank’s view as it was the government that bought the gold since 2003 and have now placed it on the central bank’s Balance Sheet. So we would conclude that the government has ensured central bank gold purchasing must continue.

 “How will Chinese Central Bank Gold Buying affect the Gold Price short & Long-Term?” by Julian Phillips. FSO Editorial 05/07/2009

Source and full story: Center for Research on Globalization, 11 Nov 2012

Tom Sullivan