Turkey, Uzbekistan continue to buy gold, speculation grows that China is buying anonymously

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(Kitco News) – Central banks’ appetite for gold remains insatiable as Uzbekistan’s and Turkey’s central banks lead in purchases.

Last week, Krishan Gopaul, senior European and Middle East Market analyst, said that records show the Republic of Uzbekistan bought 8.7 tonnes of gold in October, the fifth straight month where they’ve purchased that amount.

“This lifts YTD net purchases to 37t, and total gold reserves to 399t,” he said.

At the same time, he said that the Central Bank of Turkey bought 9 tonnes of gold last month, “lifting YTD net gold purchases to 103 tonnes. Total official gold reserves now total 498 tonnes.”

The latest purchasing data come just weeks after the World Gold Council said that central banks bought a record of nearly 400 tonnes of gold between July and September. Central bank demand in the third quarter increased by 300% compared to last year.

The WGC noted that along with the reported purchases, there is a substantial estimate of unreported buying. Growing speculation among market analysts points to China as a major anonymous player.

“China likely bought a substantial amount of gold from Russia,” said market analyst and former Japan director for World Gold Council Itsuo Toshima, in an interview with Nikkei Asia Tuesday.

Toshima noted that this is typical behavior from the People’s Bank of China, which didn’t report any gold purchases from 2009 to 2015 and then disclosed it had increased its gold reserves by 600 tonnes.

China’s central bank has not disclosed any new gold purchases since 2019.

Speculation surrounding China’s potential gold purchases comes as countries continue reducing their exposure to the U.S. dollar. The dedollarization trend has picked up momentum since the U.S. government and its western allies ‘weaponized’ the U.S. dollar, placing harsh sanctions on Russia after the nation invaded Ukraine in late February.

China has been a dominant force in the current dedollarization trend. Quoting data from the U.S. Treasury Department, Nikkei noted that China has sold $121.2 billion in U.S. bonds between March to October.

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