With precious metal prices echoing 2011's year-end plunge, it is perhaps worthwhile considering the bigger picture. To wit, Central banks in emerging markets have increased their purchases of gold in recent years to bolster their rapidly growing currency reserves as the global financial crisis unfolds. Brazil, until recently, held only 0.5% of its foreign reserves in gold, but as Bloomberg reports, the nation's official holdings of gold now stand at 2.16 million troy ounces - double the 1.08 million ounces it held in August. Brazil's foreign currency reserves grew USD807mm in November (during which the nation bought 472,000 ounces of gold) as "anecdotal reports suggest that demand from central banks will remain strong." As one analyst opined, "Central banks will remain a source of demand in the gold market," as is increasingy obvious in the chart below, "liquidity is paramount and gold will deliver."
USD value of Brazil's Gold reserves