Iraq Buys Massive 36 Tonnes Of Gold In March

Tyler Durden's picture

From GoldCore

Iraq Buys Massive 36 Tonnes Of Gold In March


Gold rallied from the lowest price in more than four weeks on safe haven demand after the G7 nations threatened more sanctions against Russia after the annexation of Crimea.

Meeting for the first time since last week’s annexation of Crimea by Russia, G7 leaders said they won’t attend a G8 meeting that had been set for Sochi, on Russia’s Black Sea coast, and will instead hold their own summit in June in Brussels. The G7 said in a statement that they remain ready to “intensify actions”, including coordinated sectoral sanctions.

Trading volumes on the COMEX in New York today are 49% higher than the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Palladium fell 1% to $786.20 an ounce. The precious metal rose above $800/oz yesterday, the highest  since August 2011, on concern that supplies from top producer Russia will be disrupted.

The Central Bank of Iraq said it bought 36 tons of gold this month to help stabilise the Iraqi dinar against foreign currencies, according to a statement from the bank that was emailed this morning.

It is very large in tonnage terms and Iraq’s purchases this month alone surpasses the entire demand of many large industrial nations in all of 2013. It surpasses the entire demand of large countries such as France, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Italy, Japan, the UK, Brazil and Mexico. Indeed, it is just below the entire gold demand of voracious Hong Kong for all of 2013 according to GFMS data (see chart).

Demand By Country (GFMS via Thomson Reuters)

Iraq had 27 tonnes of gold reserves at the end of 2013 according to the IMF data and thus Iraq has more than doubled their reserves with their allocations to gold this month. Gold remains less than 5% of their overall foreign exchange reserves showing that there is the possibility of further diversification into gold in the coming months. 

The governor of the Iraqi Central Bank, Abdel Basset Turki, told a news conference that, "the bank bought 36 tonnes of gold to boost reserves and this move is to strengthen the financial capacity of the country and increase the elements of security and insurance reserves of the Central Bank of Iraq."

He said, “the purchase quantity comes with the aim of achieving the highest stages of the financial soundness for Iraq”. He pointed out that the measure comes within the purview of the central bank in the use of the fiscal policy tools  of Iraq.

"The Bank has purchased large quantities of gold bullion with a very high purity and in accordance with the approved international standards," according to the Iraqi central bank.

He added that "the central bank seeks through the purchase of large quantities of gold to stabilize the Iraqi dinar against foreign currencies.”

Iraq quadrupled its gold holdings to 31.07 tonnes over the course of three months between August and October 2012, data from the International Monetary Fund shows. The IMF's monthly statistics report showed the country's holdings increased to some 23.9 tonnes in August 2012 to 29.7 tonnes.

That was followed by a 2.3-tonne rise in September to 32.09 tonnes and then a cut of 1.02 tonnes in October 2012 to 31.07 tonnes. 

It is Iraq's first major move to bolster its gold reserves in months.

The central bank of Iraq’s doubling of its gold reserves this month is important as there are many oil rich nations in the world with sizeable foreign exchange reserves, primarily in dollars, and only a small allocation to gold by these central banks alone could lead to higher gold prices.

36 tonnes is a lot of physical gold, however in terms of dollars it is worth just $1.522 billion which is a tiny fraction of the $80 billion of foreign exchange reserves that Iraq holds.

Energy rich Russia alone has foreign exchange reserves of some $440 billion. Should they decide to allocate a sizeable portion of their reserves to gold, it would rapidly result in materially higher prices.

Signs that the global economy is slowing down and the most serious confrontation between Moscow and the U.S. and its allies since the end of the Cold War is likely to lead to central banks continuing their foreign exchange diversification.

Central banks and the smart money will continue to dollar cost average and accumulate bullion on dips.

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Rakshas's picture

Iraqi Gold Bugs??

I guess they have to spend those missing billions on something tangible.... Thank You Bremner

Mike in GA's picture

Yeah, that's a lot of pallets of $100 bills!

saveandsound's picture

36 tonnes gold isn't really massively.

"Everybody" is buying gold... what does that tell us?

astoriajoe's picture

So sort of like Brussels buying our debt?

cifo's picture

I am guessing the "physical" gold is stored in London?

Drifter's picture

Hmmm.... I thought central banks didn't care about gold, that "barbaric relic" with no yield.

tarsubil's picture

Taking delivery of gold is the endgame. The more people that demand physical delivery, the closer we get to the truth of manipulation that there is more paper gold than real gold. Honest pricing of gold means no more petrodollar reserve currency. Right?

How did the Iraqis make this deal with their masters (you know, the ones running on the petrodollar) to allow them to buy physical gold?

RaceToTheBottom's picture

"How did the Iraqis make this deal with their masters ...?"

I can see two possibilities:
1)  Phys is getting controlled and this way they get some into a friendly party, to be repothicated and reloaned to GLD etal.

2) They have been talking to Russia and Russia's timetable is moving up....

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

Ethnic cleansing is expensive. We really should do something about that! Call Rummy and ask if the boys are ready to kick some ass.

Serfs Up's picture

Define "buy."

Does this mean Iraq now has paper slips that suggest it 'owns' some gold in an LBMA vault in London?


Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Relax, they'll send it to the US next month.  For Safekeeping, of course.

HungryPorkChop's picture

If you've ever read up on the history of the tomato and how it made its way around the world its really interesting.  One of the last cultures that was introduced to the tomato was Japan in the 1970's by the various pizza chains. 

Words and meanings are similar as they work their way around the world and different cultures.  Apparently the terms "rehypothecation" and "leased gold" has not made it to Iraq yet?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You just can't make this shit up and still be believable to those who claim Gold is just a barbarous relic. Yet there it is out in the open. Another country massively increasing it barbarous relic 'reserves'.

Manthong's picture

I put no credence in any of this unless someone shows where the “gold” came from and who has custody of the alleged precious.

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

When you turn these bars over it says 'Ukraine'.

Yes_Questions's picture

Annunaki on their way back. Time to deliver


RaceToTheBottom's picture

Central Bankstering is a barbarous relic

GetZeeGold's picture



Iraq Buys Massive 36 Tonnes Of Gold In March


No wonder the price went down!


Did they get that direct from the Ukraine? I thought that was suppose to go to Germany?

PT's picture

They must've had a little bit left over.

StychoKiller's picture

Now all Iraq has gotta do is start accepting Euroz for Oil to complete the circle...

jubber's picture

must be why it is falling again

GetZeeGold's picture



It's all about supply and demand.....they've written books about it.

new game's picture

sure, sure, as china naked shorts paper and buys phyzz...

hey china, is 1300/oz the right price? why not 1000? just curious...

fonzannoon's picture

good question. Maybe 1000 is the right price. Maybe $500? As long as a country can grab 36 tons of it I guess the supply is out there.


GetZeeGold's picture



Gold everywhere.....but not a drop for Germany to drink!

astoriajoe's picture

Oddly, about 35 years ago, doctors injected gold into my grandmother as some sort of therapeutic treatment for arthritis. Its not quite drinking, but maybe the Iraqi's just have a lot of elderly folk.

new game's picture

stuff we know(input costs) don't add up. so if this is true, physical supply has to become short of demand, right? am i missing something? so really just an issue of buy and hold, with the buys at lowest price possible; so therefor calling china and asking when is the right time??????predicated on months and years not days and weeks.

edit-except for margin calls which distorts short term(circa 2008).

Bay of Pigs's picture

No, they are obviously lying. It is a Ponzi and Shell Game at this point (movement of CB gold stocks). The supply is most assurdedly not there (Germany not able to repatriate their gold).


Cacete de Ouro's picture

There is no information provided by the Iraqi Central Bank as to how the purchase transaction was executed.

Since it's now essentially a US colony, one possibility is that the gold could have been acquired into an allocated account via the NY Fed. This would mean that the gold is not being lent out (assume for a minute that the FRBNY does not lent out gold), but it could be collateralized against a US dollar loan to the Iraqi CB.

A second option is that it was purchased via the Bank of England. In this case it could all be lent out to the bullion banks and resold straight away, meaning a net zero supply/demand equation since after this transaction, the Iraq CB just has a claim against some bullion banks.

A similar third option is that the 'gold' was acquired via the BIS, and accounted for as a sight account or a term deposit at the BIS. The BIS then can do whatever it wants with the gold, for example lend it to the bullion banks or put out a fire elsewhere.

So surely the first question to ask is how was this purchase transaction actually executed, and where is the newly acquired gold and in what form is it being 'stored' (allocated vs unallocated vs term deposit vs sight deposit vs collateralized or swapped vs some other smoke and mirrors)?

Anyone got any info on these questions?

StychoKiller's picture

Good delivery bars has become an oxymoron, since the bars don't get delivered to anyone.

zorba THE GREEK's picture

They are hitting gold harder than usual. There is futures expiration on Thursday, and gold always gets hit

before that, but this time seems more intense. Something else is going on and my gut tells me it will be

something big and will hit the stock market hard and cause gold to surge. That is why they feel the need

to slam gold and pump the market up beforehand, to cushion the blow. Only time will tell what is afoot.

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

Agreed. Since before the FOMC meeting last week theyve had their boots on the neck of gold.

10PastMidnight's picture

add it up, gold backed Dinar, Russia, China and India getting comfy along with Iraq and Iran, all working toward bypassing and replacing the petro dollar with a gold backed currency, does it get anymore obvious?

AUD's picture

With the shit that's going on in Iraq right now, I doubt this is physical gold. More likely an unallocated account with a bullion bank.

Dr. Engali's picture

Exactly. There is no way they're taking physical possession. It's sitting in an imaginary vault some place to be re-hypothecated, and nobody knows who really owns it.

AUD's picture

if it is unallocated, what matters is whether the 'asset' the bullion bank has to match its liability to the Iraq central bank, actually matures into gold, should the Iraq bank wish to redeem it.

Whether they ever do ask to redeem it is another story.

RafterManFMJ's picture

See these 36 receipts? Each one entitles you to one tonne of gold! We'll naturally store it for you at no charge here at the Fed and you can retrieve it anytime you want!

Be sure to place your tickets in a safe place, and don't forget where you've hid them. Pleasure doing bidness wit ya.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

More like "buying back" the gold that was stolen from them in 2002.  But still kept offshore (in NY) for Safekeeping, of course.

Agstacker's picture

The new normal of supply and demand, Iraq buys 36 tonnes and gold drops in price.

Dr. Engali's picture

Don't make us come in and liberate you from that shit again.

BlindMonkey's picture

That would only happen if they started drifting away from the petrodollar again.

agstacks's picture

Looks like we need another "surge" there to liberate this newly claimed relic into the hands of a patiently waiting counter-party.

deus x machina's picture

so why isn't the price rocketing up?  it must be double secrect trading, in the double secrect shadow banking system that isn't suppose to exist that affects our lives but does really because it doesn't exist...WHAAAAAAAAAAT?

fonzannoon's picture

why isn't the price rocketing up? Here is why...

"36 tonnes is a lot of physical gold, however in terms of dollars it is worth just $1.522 billion which is a tiny fraction of the $80 billion of foreign exchange reserves that Iraq holds."

This article by goldcore would be better off being printed in "who gives a shit magazine".

The only thing I took from this article is there was 36 tons of phyz out there to be purchased, so I prob don't have to worry about my coin shop running out of AE's this week.

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

same here. Also, china has been able to import a shitload of it year after year. No price surge, no supply shortage. Say what you will about these bankers, they do seem to have a lock on this shit, for now anyway.  I have yet to see my shop not have ASE, AGEs, maples, buffalos, etc. I have never not been able to buy whatever I wanted there, nor have i not been able to order the generic silver bars from silvertowne.