Central Banks’ Gold Acquisitions Surge: China Leads Amid Geopolitical Tensions

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In a significant trend, central banks worldwide acquired 1,037 tonnes of gold in 2023, marking the second-highest amount in data going back to 1950. Notably, China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, led the way with net purchases totaling 225 tonnes, the highest since 1977. The flight of gold from the West to the East continues, with Western gold ETFs shedding bullion for the third consecutive year.

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Chinese gold purchases soared by 30% in 2023, attributed to economic anxiety, as the country sought to replace dollar holdings amid tensions with the U.S. Additionally, geopolitical risks, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict, drove increased gold acquisitions in other nations such as Poland and Libya.

The data, sourced from the World Gold Council’s 2023 Gold Demand Trends report, highlights a global shift in reserves as some countries aim to reduce their reliance on the American dollar by turning to gold.

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