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MAS expands gold reserves by 45% in Q1

It was the first increase since June 2021.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) increased its gold reserves to 222 tonnes in the first quarter of 2023, 45% higher than at the end of 2022, after the country's monetary board purchased 69t of gold, making it the top single buyer during that time, according to World Gold Council.

It is despite the consumer demand for gold in Singapore fell 20% to 3.3t year-on-year (YoY) from 4.1t following a decrease in demand for local bar and coin by 8% YoY to 1.4 tonnes from 1.54 tonnes, as well as local jewelry by 27% YoY to 1.9 tonnes from 2.6 tonnes.

Shaokai Fan, World Gold Council Head of Asia-Pacific (ex-China) and Global Head of Central Banks, said that MAS' purchase, which was the first increase in its gold reserves since June 2021, confirmed that buying in the first quarter of 2023 "was not only the domain of emerging market central banks."

READ MORE: Where to invest if MAS eases monetary policy in October

Meanwhile, the total gold demand for the first quarter of 2023 dropped by 13% YoY to 1,081 tonnes. However, central banks helped to boost it after adding 228t to the global reserves.

On the other hand, the total gold supply reached 1,174 tonnes due to the 1% growth in mine production and a 5% rise in recycling driven by higher gold prices.

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