For the first time in 13 years, the Bank of Russia has recorded a decline in physical gold reserves in international reserves.
By the end of January, the storage facilities of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation lost at least another two tons of precious metal, Interfax reports, citing the regulator’s statistics.
Having started the month with 73.9 million ounces by the end of the month, the central bank reported that it had 73.8 million.
It is impossible to establish the exact volume of transactions: in the Central Bank statistics, the weight of gold is rounded to one decimal place. 100 thousand ounces (the maximum possible sales volume) is approximately equal to 4 tons of bars, Interfax notes.
Gold leaves the Central Bank for the third time in the past seven months. Earlier, the IMF recorded a reduction in Russia’s reserves by 400 thousand ounces. The deals took place in July (for 100 thousand ounces) and in September (for 300 thousand).
Relative to July, the gold reserve of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation could have lost 1.4 million ounces, or 56 tons, follows from the data of the IMF and the statistics of the regulator.
The last time the gold reserves of Russia decreased in 2007 – by 1.2 tons in the first quarter.
Since 2008, the Central Bank has been stubbornly acquiring ingots and during this time has increased its reserves 5 times. Started at 20-30 tons per quarter, he doubled the speed of purchases in 2014, when the annexation of Crimea sparked a flurry of Western sanctions.
In 2018, Russia took the 6th place in the world in terms of gold reserves, overtaking China, and in 2020 it came close to France, which has 2,436 thousand tons in reserves (against 2,298 thousand tons for the Russian Federation).
Gold is “100 percent protection from legal and political risks,” explained in August 2018 the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank Dmitry Tulin: physical bullion cannot be seized, such as currency, a third of which the Central Bank keeps on deposits in foreign banks, or securities, which are also held in depositories abroad.