Global bullion holdings continued to rise in the third quarter of this year, with net purchases up 12 percent compared to last year, according to World Gold Council (WGC) data.
Central bank purchases of the precious metal totaled 547.5 tons, with more than 156 tons bought in three months from July to September. However, the third quarter buying spree this year is 38% lower than it was in 2018, when quarterly net purchases hit the highest level in eight years.
Gold reserves of Russia, China, and Turkey saw the largest increase in the reported period, according to the WGC. Turkish holdings rose most of all, by 71.4 tons to over 380 tons. Earlier, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey made its largest ever monthly bullion purchase, adding 41.8 tons of gold to its coffers in August.
Russia, the leading bullion purchaser last year, continued to expand its gold stockpile while it further diversified its reserves from the US dollar. After the gold holdings increased by 94 tons in the first half of 2019, the Central Bank of Russia added nearly 35 tons from July to September. Now the gold stash amounts to nearly 2,242 tons and is worth more than $100 billion.
Meanwhile China, which resumed bullion purchases at the end of last year, added 21.8 tons to its holdings. In September, the People’s Bank of China raised national gold holdings to around 1,957 tons, bringing this year’s gold haul to over 100 tons amid a simmering trade war with the US.