Based on information from industry sources and my personal calculations, total gold purchases by the Chinese central bank (reported and unreported) in Q3 accounted for 179 tonnes. Year-to-date the PBoC bought 593 tonnes, which is 80% more than what it bought in the first three quarters last year. Its total estimated gold holdings are 5,220 tonnes, more than twice what's officially disclosed at 2,192 tonnes.
The movement towards gold by central banks is showing no sign of slowing down. Mainly the Chinese central bank is on a voracious buying spree since 2022, and it's obtaining way more metal than what is officially reported. The People's Bank of China (PBoC) buys gold off the radar, not to send shockwaves through the market, allowing it to exchange its dollars for more bullion in anticipation of shifts in the international monetary order.
Every quarter we at Gainesville Coins compute an estimate of how much gold is bought by central banks surreptitiously. Of these unreported purchases about eighty percent is bought by the Chinese central bank; the other twenty percent is acquired by central banks from, for example, Saudi Arabia, according to industry sources that prefer to stay anonymous.
In the Gold Demand Trends Q3 by The World Gold Council (WGC) total estimated gold purchases by central banks, derived from publicly available data and field research, accounted for 337 tonnes. Reported gold acquisitions by central banks—data collected by the International Monetary Fund (IMF)—accounted for 211 tonnes. Eighty percent of the difference is 101 tonnes, which, added to what the PBoC publicly states to have bought in the third quarter, compounds to 179 tonnes. Year-to-date the PBoC has bought a record 593 tonnes, which is 790 tonnes annualized! (For more details on how I calculate PBoC gold holdings please read my previous article).