Central banks bought more gold in April, according to a report by the World Gold Council. This continues a gold-buying spree that stretches back to last year.
Globally, central bank net purchases of the yellow metal totaled 43 tons. That is an 8% increase month-on-month.
Reported net purchases total 207 tons so far in 2019. That ranks as the highest year-to-date increase in gold reserves since central banks became net buyers in 2010.
According to the WGC:
"This could be viewed as a strong statement of intent towards gold, especially given this follows the highest level of annual purchases for 50 years."
Russia was once again the biggest buyer of the yellow metal. The Central Bank of Russia added 15.1 tons according to IMF data. China also continued to add gold to its stash with an increase of 14.9 tons. Uzbekistan also jumped into the fray, purchasing 7.9 tons of gold.
Other countries that added gold to their reserves in April include:
- Kazakhstan (4.9 tons)
- Malta (0.1 tons)
- Mexico (0.2 tons)
- Turkey (2.3 tons)
Germany shed 1.8 tons of gold from its reserve. This was due to its long-standing coin minting program, according to the WGC.
Russia, Turkey, China, Kazakhstan and India lead the year-to-date gold buying.
Central bank gold purchases in April continue a trend we saw through 2018. In total, the world's central banks accumulated 651.5 tons of gold last year. The World Gold Council noted that 2018 marked the highest level of annual net central bank gold purchases since the suspension of dollar convertibility into gold in 1971, and the second highest annual total on record.
A move to minimize dependence on the US dollar, especially by countries like Russia and China, is driving this central bank gold-buying spree. Peter Schiff recently appeared on RT's News with Rick Sanchez to talk about it. He noted that the US went off the gold standard in 1971, but he thinks the world is going to go back on it.
"The days where the dollar is the reserve currency are numbered, and we're going back to basics. You know, everything old is new again. Gold was money in the past, and it will be money again in the future, and central banks that are smart enough to read that writing on the wall are increasing their gold reserves now."
Editor's Note: The summary bullets for this article were chosen by Seeking Alpha editors.