Moscow’s sovereign gold stockpile jumped up to over 2,100 metric tonnes last year, with the country’s status as a major gold producer allowing for reserves to be built up using domestically sourced bullion.
Russia’s hunger for gold continues to grow, with freshly released Central Bank data showing reserves climbing by 31.1 tonnes, or 1.5 per cent of total reserves, in the month of February alone. Taking account of another 6.22 tonnes of the precious metal purchased in January, reserves now stand at some 2,149.25 metric tonnes, according to the Central Bank.
According to Bloomberg, Russia’s gold rush’n approach to the precious metal is an indication that the country continues to make “rapid progress in its effort to diversify away from American assets.”
>According to the business resource, the impact of more countries taking a similar approach to the dollar could be problematic, with the US’ European partners, including France, Poland and Hungary, already engaged in similar gold buys or referring to their dependence on the dollar “an issue of sovereignty.”
For Russia, Bloomberg suggested, the gold stockpile means safety “against geopolitical shocks and the threat of tougher US sanctions as relations between the two powers continue to deteriorate.” However, with Russian gold mines’ output topping out at about 300 tonnes per year, and the Central Bank buying up nearly 275 tonnes of that in 2018, Russia is on-course to making substantial purchases abroad, according to observers.
“Should it reach the limit for domestic purchases, I think the Central Bank will start to import gold,” Oleg Kouzmin, chief economist at the Moscow-based brokerage firm Renaissance Capital, said.