Russia Adds One Million Ounces of Gold To Reserves in February

Russian Central Bank Gold Reserves Rose to 2152.36 Tons in February.

Russia added 1,000,000 ounces of gold (31.10348 tons) to reserves in February.

Russian gold reserves are the fifth largest central bank holdings in the world.

Russia added a record 271 tons of gold to reserves in 2018.

Since June 2015, the Central Bank of Russia has added over 867 tons of gold to reserves.

Overall Russian reserves rose from $475.944 billion in January to $482.610 in February.

Russian holdings of U.S. Treasuries were at $14.06 billion in August 2018 down from $48.1 billion in April 2018.

Gold reserves worth $91.641 billion constitute 19% of overall Russian reserves.

The Central Bank of Russia added 86% of its domestic gold mining production of 314 tons to reserves in 2018.

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Russia Steps up Gold Purchases in February

After adding 6,700,000 ounces (208 tonnes) of gold to her reserves in 2015, the Russian Central Bank added 6,400,000 ounces (199 tonnes) in 2016, another 224 tons (7,202,000 ounces) in 2017 and a record 271 tons (8,700,000 ounces) in 2018.

The Central Bank of Russia ended 2017 with 1838.21 tonnes of gold on their balance sheet.

Central Bank of Russia added 7.2 Million ounces (approximately 223.945 tonnes) in 2017.

In 2018, the Central Bank of Russia added 8.7 million ounces or 270.6 tons of gold.

The chart below shows the Central Bank of Russia’s Gold Reserves by month with tonnage rounded to the nearest metric ton.

Russian Gold Reserves June 2015 - February 2019

The Central bank of Russia has added about 870.89 tons of gold to her reserves from June 2015 – to February 2019.

Russian Gold reseves additions subtractions 1994 - 2018 final

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Since 2009, Russia has added over 1,510 tons of gold to its reserves more than China who added about 805 tons during the same time period.

Russian Monthly Gold Purchases June 2014 – February 2019

Russian Gold Reserve additions by month June 2014 - February 2019

Russia has added 34.4 million ounces (approximately 1070 tons) to its reserves from June 2014 through February 2019.

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Gold Reserves by Country top ten

Russia has the fifth largest gold reserves of any nation.

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Russia Adding Gold To Reserves At A Faster Pace Than China

From March 2016 to May 2017 China added 45 tonnes of gold to its reserves, while Russia added 246 tonnes, or 447% more.

The People’s Bank of China’s gold reserves as of November 2018 were at the same level as of October 2016. The PBOC began adding gold again to reserves with approximately 10 tons added in each of December 2018, January and February 2019.

Russian and Chinese central bank monthly gold additions November 2015 - November 2016

Russia added about 122 more tonnes of gold to its reserves than China from November 2015 – November 2016.

The Russian Central Bank announced that it would begin buying gold on the Moscow Stock Exchange.

Russian gold mining production vs reserves
Source USGS/Central Bank of Russia

Russia is retaining an increasing percentage of its gold mining output.

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Roubles For Gold

Increasingly, Russia has been buying up more of their gold mining production, in effect converting roubles into gold.

The gap between the Central Bank of Russia’s gold reserves and their U.S. Treasury holdings widened in earlier this year.. Russia’s gold reserves exceeded the value of their U.S. Treasury holdings for the first time in April. The U.S. Treasury department revealed that Russia’s holdings of U.S. Treasuries fell from $96.1 billion in March 2018 to $48.7 billion in April 2018. Russia’s U.S. Treasury holdings fell further to $14.9 billion in May and have remained around that level through August 2018.

Today, the Central Bank of Russia revealed that their gold reserves increased by another 1,000,000 ounces or 31.1 tons in February bringing their gold reserves to 2152.36 tons worth $91.641 billion as of the end of February 2019.

Russia does little trade with the United States and has been subject to a series of U.S. inspired sanctions for the past few years. As a result, while Russia had been working on increasing its overall foreign reserves in recent years, it focused more on adding gold than U.S. Treasuries.

The drop in May 2018 of $33.2 billion in U.S. Treasuries from April followed another large shedding of U.S. Treasuries by the Central Bank of Russia (Russia sold $47.4 billion in US Treasuries in April) Russia began rebuilding its U.S. Treasury holdings in mid 2015 when they reached a low of $66.5 billion. Russia’s U.S. Treasury holdings reached a recent peak of $108.7 billion in May 2017.

Russian Gold Reserves vs. U.S. Treasury Holdings

Russian Gold vs U.S. Treasury Holdings January 2017 - 2018 through May

Russian U.S. Treasury and gold reserves source: U.S. Treasury TIC report and Russian Central Bank, respectively.

Overall Russian Reserves

The reserves of the Central Bank of Russian have grown over $111 billion or about 30% since January 2016.

Gold represented about $91.641 billion of Russia’s overall reserves at the end of February 2019, or about 19%.

Russian Reserves assets Jan 2016 -Feb 2019

Russian U.S. Treasury Holdings

Russia’s U.S. Treasury Bond Holdings 2014 – 2018

As of August 2018, Russia held $14.9 billion in U.S. Treasury Bonds down from $131.8 billion in January 2014.

Russian holding of US Treasuries May 2016 - May 2018

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Further reading on Russia’s gold production:

Russia’s VTB bank to supply 15-20 T of gold to China in next 12 months

Russia to increase gold production

Russian gold and reserve data from the Central Bank of the Federation of Russia

Further Reading:

Russian Gold Reserves (monthly archive)

Russia’s U.S. Treasury Holdings vs. Gold Reserves

Top Foreign Holders of U.S. Treasuries

Gold Repatriation Requests (updated regularly)

Gold Supply and Demand

The Importance of Gold

The Smaulgld Gold Buying Guide

Gold Reserves By Country – Top 20

Russia, Ukraine and the Dollar

Are Russia and China Moving Against the Dollar

Gold and Silver Price Manipulation – Suspected

Gold and Silver Price Manipulation – Actual

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