International Monetary Fund data shows for the month of March the following nations including Turkey, Russia and Kazakhstan increased their holdings of the precious metal. Mexico added $906.4 million or 16.8 metric tons of gold for the month of March joined by Russia buying 16.5 tons. This is in response to the $1676.67 ounce price posted in March and increasing their gold reserve position to 122.6 tons. While Turkey added 11.5, Kazakhstan 4.3, Ukraine 1.2, Tajikistan, 0.4, and Belarus 0.1 tons. Argentina turned out to be a surprise by increasing their reserves by buying 7 tons when it was at a record high price. A first in almost six years since September 2011.
The message this sends is that gold will continue to be the reserve asset for central banks for the purpose of stabilizing currencies and their protection. The move by central banks is all in response to the 11 year rise of the precious metal as a exchange trade product. The London-based World Gold Council indicates the 439.7 tons purchased last year by central banks is the most in five decades and indicators are again showing a similar amount for 2012.
Turkey’s central bank last year increased the required reserves on the amount that can be deposited. As a result, this changed how much official bullion reserve the country officially declares which increased to 209.6 tons.