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Russia is slowly adding to its gold reserves and could outpace China by the end of this year, according to London-based commentator Lawrie Williams.

He said the Russian central bank had increased its gold reserves during April to 1,686 tonnes, some 157 tonnes less than China in figures reported to the IMF.

China had not reported any increases to its gold reserves since October last year when the Yuan was accepted into the IMF’s special drawing rights, effectively making it acceptable as a global reserve currency, Williams wrote for Sharps Pixley.

China has a long track record of only announcing reserve increases at five or six-yearly intervals, he noted.

“If the Russian central bank reverts to gold purchases at the kinds of levels seen earlier this year, and assuming China continues to officially announce zero increases, Russia could surpass China in terms of officially reported gold reserves by the end of this year, or early next,” Williams said.

“But given China’s prior track record of non-reporting of its seemingly ever-increasing gold reserves this might be a very misleading assessment.”

He said many believed China’s gold reserves could be higher than 5,000 tonnes with an aim to exceed the US’s world-leading figure of 8,133.5t.

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