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India's central bank reports another gold purchase

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(Kitco News) The Reserve Bank of India followed in China's footsteps with another gold purchase in March, according to the World Gold Council (WGC).

India bought 3.5 tonnes of gold bullion last month, raising its Q1 total to 7.3 tonnes, said WGC's senior analyst Krishan Gopaul. The central bank now holds 794.6 tonnes of gold in its reserves.

"Looking at weekly data from the Reserve Bank of India, it shows that their #gold reserves rose by 3.5 tonnes in March. This lifts Q1'23 net purchases to 7.3 tonnes, and total gold reserves to 794.6 tonnes," Gopaul tweeted Monday.

This comes after the Reserve Bank of India bought 3.8 tonnes of gold in February. Last year, the central bank also added 33 tonnes, 57% lower than in 2021. This was in contrast to other emerging central banks like China and Turkey stepping up their annual buying, which led to new record levels of gold bought in 2022.

The India news also comes just days after the People's Bank of China reported an additional 18-tonne gold purchase in March, marking its fifth consecutive month of gold buying. China's total gold reserves are now at 2,068 tonnes.

The gold market continues to receive support from central banks, with January and February marking the strongest start to the year since at least 2010, the WGC said.

Global gold reserves increased by 52 tonnes in February, rising for the 11th month in a row, the WGC said last week. Year-to-date, central banks' net purchases stand at 125 tonnes.

"This is the strongest start to a year back to at least 2010 â?? when central banks became net buyers on an annual basis," said Gopaul.

The February data excluded newly revealed Russia numbers, the WGC added. Russia disclosed that it bought one million ounces (31 tonnes) of gold between February 2022 and March 2023.

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