I don't think anyone knows the exact amount of physical gold that China and the BRICS are absorbing. And how much unencumbered gold remains in many of the Western vaults either.
One has to chuckle at 'analysts' who just ignore what of the more significant trend changes in the international money markets. The BRICS are buying tonnes of gold and adding them to their reserves? Nothing to see here. Just the usual hijinks of the uninformed and unsophisticated.
But no matter how one looks at it, there was a profound change in the metals markets around 2006, and that it is somehow involved with what has been called a 'currency war.' As it has done in the past, the nature of the global reserve currency system is changing.