People’s Bank of China Halts Gold Purchases in May

The People’s Bank of China Added No Gold to Reserves in May.

Total reported People’s Bank of China gold reserves stand at 1,808.343 tonnes.

PBOC foreign reserves fell from $3.22 trillion in April to $3.19 trillion in May.

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For the eleventh month in a row, The People’s Bank of China gold reserves were updated. The latest update showed that the PBOC’s gold reserves were unchanged at the end of May.

Last month the PBOC announced that its gold reserves at the end of April grew 353,658 ounces to 58.14 million ounces from 57.79 million ounces. In March the PBOC’s gold reserves increased 290,000 ounces or 9.02 tonnes. March’s nine tons of gold added to the People’s Bank of China’s reserves was the smallest amount added since China began reporting monthly gold reserves last summer and followed an addition of just 9.9 tonnes in February. April’s report reversed two months of gold reserve additions of less than 10 tonnes.

Today’s report was the first since the PBOC began monthly gold reserves reporting in July 2015 that showed no additions of gold to reserves.

In June 2015, the PBOC updated its gold reserves for the first time since 2009 by reporting an additional 604 tonnes.* Since then the PBOC has added another 150 tonnes of gold to its reserves.

People’s Bank of China Gold Reserves 2009-2016

people's bank of china gold reserves from 2009 through April 2016

The People’s Bank of China added 11 tonnes of gold to reserves in April 2016 and none in May 2016.

*many suspect that “China” has under reported its gold reserves. See “The Case of China’s Missing Gold and “China’s President Confirms Practice Of Moving Official Reserve Assets To Other Entities In China.

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PBOC’s Gold vs China’s Gold

The PBOC is not “China” but rather the central bank of China. While the PBOC may not have added any gold to its reserves, gold was still mined in China and imports of gold continued to flow into China. This gold goes to individuals, state owned investment companies and banks.

China only reports on gold held by its central bank, not gold held elsewhere in the country.

Chinese Gold Mining Production

chinese gold mining production 2000-2015

Chinese gold mining production is the largest in the world

Top Ten Gold Holding Nations

gold reserves by country top ten may 8 2016

The People’s Bank of China has the fifth largest gold reserves of any country.

To see the top forty gold holding nations, click here.

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China’s U.S. Treasury Holdings

As of February, 2016, China held $1.252 trillion in U.S. Treasury Bonds up from $1.237 trillion in January.

chinese holdings us treasuries jan 2014-16

Chinese Treasury Bond Holdings fell $35.1 billion from January 2015 to January 2016.

For a monthly update of the top foreign holders of U.S. Treasury Bonds click here.

PBOC Foreign Reserves

China’s foreign reserves had been falling steadily for nearly a year but April was the second month in a row during which The PBOC’s foreign reserves grew. Despite generally declining reserves China has continued to add gold to its reserves, albeit at a slower pace recently.

In May, China’s overall reserves fell to $3.19 trillion

Chinese forex reserves through april 2016

China’s foreign reserves ticked up in March and April 2016.

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Further Reading:

The Case of China’s Missing Gold

Shanghai Gold Exchange Withdrawals (weekly archive)

Chinese Gold Reserves (monthly archive)

Russian Gold Reserves (monthly archive)

India and Gold

Indian Gold Charts

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