The global economy has stagnated in recent years amid severe supply chain disruptions and geopolitical factors that exacerbated an already-existing energy shortage and caused energy prices to soar. Gold, which has traditionally acted as an inflation hedge by allowing people to preserve the value of their wealth, saw its performance stagnate in 2022 contrary to what investors would have expected.
Increasing inflation levels forced the U.S. Federal Reserve to increase benchmark interest rates for several consecutive months and encouraged investors to pull their funds from the gold market. Instead, investors put their money in assets that would allow them to take advantage of the rising interest rates.
However, as the year drew to a close, demand for gold began increasing steadily as central banks across the world bought up increasing amounts of gold. According to the World Gold Council (WGC), 2022 was a record year of gold purchases by central banks.
Data from the WGC’s annual Gold Demand Trends report revealed that central banks increased their net gold purchases by 1,136 tons in 2022, purchasing $70 billion worth of the precious metal throughout the year. Overall, 2022 saw the highest level of gold purchases since 1950 and represented the 13th year of consecutive net inflows.
Demand for gold among central banks remained high into 2023, the World Gold Council said, with the central banks buying an additional 31 tons of gold in January. EMEA senior analyst Krishan Gopaul noted that this represented a 16% monthly increase in gold purchases.
The WGC reports that the largest gold buyer in 2022 and January 2023 was Turkey’s Central Bank of Türkiye, which added 23 tons of gold to its reserves in January and raised its total gold reserves to 565 tons. People’s Bank of China (PBoC) bought a reported 62 tons of gold between November and December before adding 15 tons of gold in January, rounding up its official reserves to 2,025 tons.
The National Bank of Kazakhstan bought an additional four tons in the first month of the year to bring its total reserves to 356 tons while the European Central Bank reported a two-ton increase in its gold reserves. However, this increase was due to Croatia’s addition to the currency union, which required that it transfer reserve assets, including gold, to the ECB. On the other hand, the Central Bank of Uzbekistan sold off nearly 12 tons of gold and brought its gold holdings down to 384 tons.
As more central banks increase their gold reserves, extraction firms such as Eloro Resources Ltd. (TSX.V: ELO) (OTCQX: ELRRF) could see increased demand as the supply on the open market constricts.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Eloro Resources Ltd. (TSX.V: ELO) (OTCQX: ELRRF) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/ELRRF
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