Russian Gold Reserves on Way to 2,000 Tonnes
The comments below are an edited and abridged synopsis of an article by Lawrie Williams
Russia’s central bank added 800,000 ounces (24.9 tonnes) to its gold reserves in July, confirming its position as the world’s 5th-largest national holder of the precious metal. Russia’s gold reserve is now at around 1,969 tonnes. Adding gold at the current rate will see it surpass 2,000 tonnes within a couple of months. Should it continue to add gold at the present rate, it will move into third place by the end of the decade.
This year, Russia has added a total of just under 131 tonnes of gold to its reserves, which puts it on target to add 225 tonnes over the full year, an increase over the +/-200 tonnes a year it has been adding for the past 3 years. Russia sees gold as a safe-haven monetary defence against anti-Russian policies employed by the US. This will drive Russia closer to the 3rd major global power, China.
China is currently the 6th-largest gold holder, but it could be concealing the true level of its gold holdings. It only reports increases in gold when it sees fit; the last time was in 2015, when it announced a 600-tonne addition after reporting a static figure for 6 years. Currently its gold reserves are more than 2,000 tonnes, with a view to surpassing the US’s 8,133.5 tonne holding. As the world’s largest gold producer at an estimated 429 tonnes last year, it certainly has the capability of building its reserves surreptitiously.
China and Russia both see gold as having a significant importance in future trade and geopolitical agendas as US dominance in these areas is being eroded, and with the US taking increasingly hostile actions against them. The recent increase in the US defense budget has also been ringing alarm bells as the world becomes increasingly polarised.