Twelfth Consecutive Monthly Increase in Reserves Signals Ongoing Central Bank Confidence Amid Geopolitical Uncertainty

Metals – China boosts gold reserves

China expanded its gold reserves for a twelfth straight month in October, according to the latest data from the People’s Bank of China (PBoC). The country raised its gold reserves by around 23 tonnes to a total of 2,215 tonnes last month. China has added about 266 tonnes of gold in the last twelve months through October. In general, central bank demand over the third quarter has been strong, because of the geopolitical environment, and with this uncertainty set to linger, we are likely to see central banks continuing to add to their holdings in the coming months.

China released its preliminary trade data for metals yesterday which shows total monthly imports for unwrought copper jumped 23.7% YoY (+4% MoM) to 500.2kt in October due to declining domestic inventories and firm demand. However, cumulative imports are still down 6.7% YoY to total 4.49mt over the first ten months of the year as stronger domestic production weighed on overseas purchases. Imports of copper concentrate rose 11.3% YoY to 2.31mt last month, while year-to-date imports rose 9.2% YoY to 22.6mt. In ferrous metals, iron ore imports rose 4.6% YoY to 99.4mt in October, however, were down almost 2% MoM as steel output declined following the seasonal slump in construction activity. Cumulative iron ore imports are up 6.5% YoY to 975.8mt.

On the export side, China’s unwrought aluminium and aluminium product shipments fell 8.1% YoY to 440.3kt last month, while year-to-date exports declined 17% YoY to 4.7mt over the first ten months of the year. Meanwhile, exports of steel products jumped 34.8% YoY to 74.7mt during Jan’23-Oct’23.

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