OREANDA-NEWS. The World Gold Council (WGC) calculated that in the first quarter of 2019, central banks of the world broke the record for the last 6 years in gold purchases. In total, they bought 145.5 tons of the precious metal, which is 68 % more than a year earlier.

Financial information agency Bloomberg referring to the report of the WGC said that the largest buyer nowadays is Russia. According to Bloomberg Russia sells US government bonds “as part of the de-dollarization process.” At the same time the agency did not report how much gold was bought by the Russian Central Bank.

According to the Central Bank of Russia, on April 1 2019, state’s gold reserves amounted to 487.8 billion dollars, a record value since March 2014. In January 2019, the Bank of Russia had a record increase in the amount of gold in its international reserves.

The People’s Bank of China has become another major buyer of gold. It also tries to diversify his assets and depart from the US dollar, the experts of agency explain.

Ecuador for the first time in the last 5 years increased its gold reserves in the first quarter of 2019. The other leaders in this sphere were Kazakhstan, Turkey, Qatar and Colombia.

The specialists concluded that among the major buyers of gold were mostly countries seeking to reduce their dollar dependence. As a rule, these are the states whose gold reserves are less than those of Western European countries.

According to the release of the report, published on the website of the WGC, in the first quarter of 2019, the total investment in bars and coins fell to 257.8 tons (– 1 %). As the experts explained, that was due to a slump in prices demand for gold bars. At the same time, official purchases of gold coins increased by 12 % to 56.1 tons. The demand for jewelry over the same period increased by 530.3 tons. The volume of gold used in the technology fell to 79.3 tons, a 2-year minimum, due to a slowdown in economic growth.