Central banks worldwide bought 36 net tonnes of gold in February, close to a third higher than January’s net purchases, but 52 percent lower than February 2019, according to World Gold Council (WGC) data released on Friday.
The council said that net purchases in the year-to-date are 64.5 tonnes, 44 percent lower than the 116.1 tonnes in net purchases in the first two months of 2019.
Sales in February amounted to 3.1 tonnes and total purchases to 39.1 tonnes.
Following a steady decline in monthly net purchases since August, resulting in a five-month low of 16.3 tonnes in December, monthly net purchases in both January and February have seen a pick-up, according to the WCG.
The past two months suggest gold continues to be an important component of foreign reserves.
The WGC predicted that central banks will remain net buyers this year but that gold buying may not increase to the levels of the past two years.