Germany Lowers Gold Holdings for First Time in Eight Months
Germany’s gold holdings fell by 0.7 metric ton in June, the first decline in eight months, as the Bundesbank sold metal to the finance ministry to mint commemorative coins. Turkey and Mexico reduced bullion reserves.
Germany’s holdings dropped to 3,395.6 tons last month, data on the International Monetary Fund’s website showed. The country last cut reserves in October to mint coins, and sells a “small amount” each year for that purpose, Bundesbank spokeswoman Ute Bremers said. Turkey cut holdings by 0.8 ton, Mexico lowered them by 0.1 ton and Guatemala added 0.2 ton in June, IMF data show.
Central banks have been expanding reserves after the metal climbed the past 11 years and holdings in exchange-traded products are about 0.9 percent below the all-time high set on July 5. The banks may buy more bullion this year than the 456 tons in 2011 as countries diversify their reserves, Ashish Bhatia, the manager of government affairs at the World Gold Council, said last month.
“If you look at our total gold reserves you see that this is not a big deal,” Bundesbank spokesman Peter Trautmann said, referring to the reduction in holdings. The central bank sells about 6 to 7 tons each year to the finance ministry, he said.
Russia increased its gold holdings to 29.5 million ounces last month, from 29.3 million ounces at the end of May, Bank Rossii said in a statement on its website July 20. The June data for the country hadn’t been updated on the IMF’s website.
Gold for immediate delivery traded at $1,589.05 an ounce by 10:39 a.m. in London and is up 1.6 percent this year. Prices averaged $1,600.53 last month and reached a record $1,921.15 in September.
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