Mineweb — Russia and Kazakhstan expanded their gold reserves for a seventh straight month in April, buying the metal to diversify assets even as prices slumped the most in three decades.
Russian holdings, the seventh-largest by country, climbed 8.4 metric tons to 990 tons, taking gains this year to 3.4 percent after expanding by 8.5 percent in 2012, International Monetary Fund data show. Kazakhstan’s hoard grew 2.6 tons to 125.5 tons, taking the increase to 8.9 percent this year after a 41 percent expansion in 2012, data on the website showed.
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Now, these figures are according to the so-called official data. However, actual reserves may be much larger… especially in Russia and China. The top 5 gold producing countries in the world are (in metric tonnes):
1) China = 370 mt
2) Australia = 250 mt
3) USA = 230 mt
4) Russia = 205 mt
5) South Africa = 170 mt
I would assume that Russia is buying most of its domestic production which was a little more than 200 mt in 2012. It will be interesting to find out the real data on how much gold these central banks own. You can rest assured the true figures will be known once the world backs its trade settlement with gold.