China may have bought 300 tons of gold in secret this year

It’s no secret that central banks across the globe are goldbugs. The World Gold Council (WGC) reported earlier this year that central banks bought the most gold last year since 1964; China, India and Russia were top nations buying the precious metal.

Is China still continuing its goldbug ways? Although the Chinese central bank has yet to officially confirm its acquisitions, one Businessweek report coming out this week suggests that Beijing may have purchased around 300 tons of gold this year.

“The probability is that there’s some form of official purchases that have not yet been reflected in the monetary gold reserves,” said Philip Klapwijk of Precious Metals Insights. “Undoubtedly, that’s provided support for prices, which could have been weaker.”

“Purchases since end-2008 could be quite substantial, especially in calendar 2013 to date,” he added. “It remains to be seen if China will decide at some point to re-position some or all of this bullion in the monetary reserves and publish a new figure for its official gold holdings.”

According to 2009 numbers – these figures haven’t been updated since then – China’s gold reserves are tallied at 1,054 tons. This number is quite low when compared to the rumors suggesting that China may have bought up to 6,000 tons of the precious metal. Whatever the case may be, gold only accounts for about one percent of its reserves of $3.6 trillion.

Gold continues to remain a buyer’s market as it remains under $1,300 per ounce. During the Tuesday trading session, gold traded around $1,275, while silver was down 47 cents at $20.80.

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