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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Gold purchases in Russia surge despite price slump

Global demand for gold fell sharply last quartet, but Russia is still accumulating the precious metal.

Russia's central bank added another 20.6 tons to its gold reserves in the first three quarters of the year, and, with 1,237 tons, it has now crossed the 1,204 ton mark for the first time, Quartz reports.

Along with Turkey and Kazakhstan, Russia was the only country among the top 30 gold reserve-holding countries to add to its stockpiles this year.

Although Russia's reserves still rank only seventh in the world, its store is quickly catching up to Switzerland's stock of 1,292 tons. The latest number for China is 1,323 tons, but that is outdated because Beijing stopped reporting its holdings some time ago, according to Quartz.

Russian lawmakers have reportedly attributed the central bank's gold accumulation in part to a strategic shift away from reserve currencies like the dollar or the pound.

Experts say it may not be such a bad idea. Even with prices dropping, supply has been shrinking, which could mean steady or higher prices down the road.