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Gold

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much gold bullion the Government sold in each of the last 15 years; and what the average sum received per kilogram was in each year. (190828)

395 tonnes of gold were sold from the reserves between July 1999 and March 2002. The Government have not conducted an official gold sales programme since 2002. However the physical stock of gold may change for a number of reasons, including sales of small amounts of gold sovereigns by the Royal Mint; and transaction costs incurred in gold lending and swaps. Data on the physical stock of gold and its current value is available on the Bank of England website:

http //213_225.136_206/statistics/reserves/Tempoutput.xls

Table 1 details average amounts received annually from the official gold sales programme.

Table 1

Tonnes sold

Weighted average $/ounce

July to December 1999

75

270

January to December 2000

150

277

January to December 2001

130

270

January to March 2002

40

290

Total

395

275

Note:

That gold is priced per troy ounce, rather than per kilogram. One metric tonne is equivalent to 32,150 troy ounces.