Reserve statistics

Gold plays an important part in central banks’ reserves management, and they are significant holders of gold. This gold reserve data – compiled using IMF IFS statistics – tracks central banks’ reported purchases and sales along with gold as a percentage of their foreign international reserves.

Additional commentary around central bank purchases and sales can be found in Gold Demand Trends.

Central banks net purchases totalled a healthy 56.7t during the month, down 11% m-o-m. For a second consecutive month, Thailand was the biggest buyer, adding a further 46.7t in May and accounting for 82% of total net purchases for the month. Turkey also increased gold reserves by 8.6t during the month, bringing official sector reserves to 415t. Among the changes to our dataset with this latest release are revisions to our Turkish data series back to 2017. More detail on this change to our data can be found here. Brazil (11.9t), Kazakhstan (5.3t), Poland (1.9t), and India (0.9t) were the other notable buyers during the month. There was also a m-o-m pick-up in sales during May, with gross sales totalling 18.9t, the highest level since January (22.5t).

Quarterly official gold reserves

Data as of

Sources: Central Banks, ICE Benchmark Administration, International Monetary Fund, World Gold Council; Disclaimer

This chart was updated in June 2021 and reports data available at that time. Data are taken from the International Monetary Fund's International Financial Statistics (IFS), June 2021 edition, and other sources where applicable. IFS data are two months in arrears, so holdings are as of April 2021 for most countries, March 2021 or earlier for late reporters. Where the World Gold Council knows of movements that are not reported to the IMF or misprints, changes have been made.

The percentage share held in gold of total foreign reserves is calculated by the World Gold Council. The value of gold holdings is calculated using the end of quarter LBMA Gold Price, which is published daily by ICE Benchmark Administration for the value of other reserves are taken from IFS, table ‘Total Reserves minus Gold’.

Length and frequency

Quarterly official gold holdings from 2000, as well as the latest available month-end data for the Top 100 holders.

Monthly and annual detailed changes in gold reserves from January 2002.

Annual sales by CBGA signatories from 1999 (updated monthly).

Update Schedule

Monthly files are updated within the first 10 days of the month (with data two months in arrears). Quarterly data is updated a month after the end of the quarter.

Units

Holdings are given in tonnes, US$ value and % of total reserves. Changes in holdings are measured in tonnes.