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China’s Gold Strategy: Beijing’s 30,000 Tons of Gold Reserves?

My attention has just been drawn to a note put out by a very well respected analyst and China follower which postulates that China could actually be holding as much as 30,000 tonnes of gold in various government accounts and that within the next three years the nation will link the yuan to gold. The nation’s official holding is only 1,054.6 tonnes as reported to the IMF, but there is widespread belief that it has been accumulating additional gold over the past several years, perhaps to the tune of around 5,000 tonnes while holding this in separate non-reportable (as China considers them) accounts.

But, of course, this does not include previously high volumes of gold which may also have been bought, and stored, in the past, and again never reported as official holdings.

So what are China’s real gold holdings? The 30,000 tonne figure has come from Simon Hunt of Simon Hunt Strategic Services (Hunt was the Hunt in Brook Hunt, one of the world’s top metals analytical teams now absorbed into Wood Mackenzie) in his latest ‘Thought for the Day’ letter to his clients in which he comments that

“China has much more gold than it is allowing the world to see. As Alasdair Macleod, probably the world’s number one analyst of the gold market, wrote that between 1983 and 2002 China probably accumulated 25,000 tons of gold. Thus, its current gold holdings are probably north of 30,000 tons in contrast to the USA which has either sold or leased most of its gold.”

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