Sprott Precious Metals Watch

August 20
Is the LBMA Silver Price more transparent than the Fix? Not yet!
The new LBMA Silver Price benchmark setting has commenced to replace the old London Silver Fixing, but it doesn’t seem to be any more open and transparent than the old system.

August 19
China Grants Gold Import Licences to Three More Banks
Three more banks have been permitted to import gold to China, as the country's redoubles its efforts to attain pricing power of the commodity. The news, reported first by Reuters, comes as Shanghai's international bullion exchange is on the verge of launching – a flagship initiative in China's attempts to wrest gold pricing power away from London.

August 14
Silver Price Going Electronic in Quest for Transparency
An electronic, auction-based mechanism will replace a ritualized negotiation among a few traders that’s been in place for 117 years. Silver becomes the first of the precious-metals markets to ditch a daily “fixing” procedure where dealers agree to a price over the telephone. Revamps also are planned this year for fixings in gold, platinum and palladium.

August 14
GATA: Central banks are manipulating gold prices
Chris Powell, Secretary of Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, says the rigging of gold markets by the U.S. and international central banks has worsened over the years.

August 13
UPDATE 1-London gold fix lawsuits to be consolidated in New York
A federal judicial panel on Wednesday ordered that 18 lawsuits alleging a conspiracy to manipulate gold prices be consolidated into one proceeding in New York. The cases will be sent to U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan, who has already been overseeing more than two dozen cases.

August 12
Banks wait on sidelines of new silver benchmark
Build it and they will come. Or that is what participants in London's $1.6 trillion-a-year silver market will be hoping.There are just three trading days before the new, electronic replacement for the 117-year old silver fix goes live and there is still considerable uncertainty over who will be participating on Friday.

August 12
Foodflation - Since QE3, Breakfast Is Up Over 24%
Having pointed out the 'surges' in the cost of your 4th of July burger at the behest of Greenspan and Bernanke, we thought a reflection on the soaring costs of 'the most important meal of the day' were in order. As the following chart illustrates in words and pictures even a PhD Fed economist or CNBC pretend-economist could understand - food-flation is here from breakfast through dinner (no matter how many iPads we try and eat).

August 12
U.S. gold production continued its decline in May - USGS
U.S. gold production dropped 9% year-over-year from 19,100 kilograms (614,079 troy ounces) in May 2013 to 17,300 kg (556,207 oz), the U.S. Geological Survey reported Monday.

August 12
India’s Gujarat gold traders see easy availability of smuggled metal
Despite some minor relaxation in government curbs in May this year, gold imports into Gujarat state have fallen to a record low in July. Data showed that just 3.06 metric tonnes of gold was imported in July 2014, which has been termed the lowest figure for July in the last six years, and as compared to 8.9 metric tonnes in July 2013 – down around 60% year on year. This parallels somewhat similar figures elsewhere in India.

August 8
BLOG: Mounting evidence of gold price manipulation tarnishes industry
Mainstream media continue to ignore mounting evidence that gold prices have been and are being manipulated. In recent years one financial market scandal after another about market manipulation has surfaced.

August 7
Draghi Says Geopolitical Risks to Economy Increasing
Mario Draghi said risks to the euro area’s economic recovery are increasing because of conflicts such as the Ukraine crisis. “Heightened geopolitical risks, as well as developments in emerging-market economies and global financial markets, may have the potential to affect economic conditions negatively,” he said.

August 7
Gold: Been down so long it looks like up to me!
Gold has been down from its peak of 2011 for just about 3 years now and despite all kinds of attacks in the futures markets by big money it has still just managed to claw its way back above $1300 yet again, and silver back over $20. This is becoming something of a pattern and certainly looks like the potential for a forthcoming major ‘up’ to me given some of the dire predictions on price by the bankers’ analysts who may well have a not-so hidden agenda to keep the price depressed.

August 6
3 Reasons Why Silver Miners Should Be in Every Investor’s Portfolio
Precious metal prices remain volatile and this has seen the precious metals mining sector fall out of favour with investors. But there are signs that a sustained rally in precious metal prices is imminent.

August 5
Gold Investment Sentiment Rises 1st Time Since Feb
Based solely on investor activity, rather than surveyed intentions, BullionVault's Gold Investor Index – calculated from the world's largest pool of real-time physical gold investing decisions online – peaked at 71.7 when the metal hit $1900 per ounce in September 2011. A reading of 50.0 would indicate an equal number of buyers and sellers across the month.

August 5
Central banks continuing to boost gold reserves
Given the crisis in Ukraine and deteriorating ties with the West, Russia has been aggressively accumulating gold reserves.

August 4
Gold Industry Takeovers Climb to Highest in Three Years
There’s no sign of a let up in gold industry takeovers as a surge in acquisitions by producers, led by Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (AEM) and Yamana Gold Inc. (YRI), has pushed deals to a three-year high.

July 31
Anti-Dollar Alliance Prepares Launch Of BRICS Bank
Three months ago we discussed in detail the growing anti-dollar hegemony alliances that were building across the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Their efforts at the time, to create a structure that would serve as an alternative to the IMF and the World Bank (which are dominated by the U.S. and the EU), appear to be nearing completion.

July 31
Platinum to Palladium Fixings Join Precious Metals Revamp
The company that runs platinum and palladium fixings in London is seeking a new administrator for the price-setting process after similar changes were proposed for rituals in gold and silver.

July 30
Giants of mining converge at Sprott Symposium
VANCOUVER – The Sprott Natural Resource Symposium in Vancouver in late July gathered together a remarkable group of industry success stories. Robert Friedland, the highly successful founder and chairman of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN), opened the conference. Sprott U.S. Holdings chairman Rick Rule, another serially successful investor, spoke several times. And a selection of the sector’s best fund managers, newsletter writers, resource explorers, and corporate leaders took turns at the podium. - See more at: http://www.northernminer.com/news/exploration-and-investment-answers-from-the-giants-of-mining/1003180564/w03r7403WrusvqqM2vx/?#sthash.lda4EtkK.dpuf 

July 29
Jim Grant: "Gold Is The Ultimate Inoculation Against Harebrained Central Bankers"
"The central bank imposed interest rates are the source of global financial instability now and in the future," warns Grant's Interest Rate Observer's Jim Grant, adding that "The Fed... has manipulated us into a period of quite eerie stability and measured volatility."

July 29
Gold miners: Buy juniors now, act later
Cowen analyst Adam Graf urged gold miners to buy juniors with high-quality assets now, given a window of opportunity punctuated by still un-moving valuations despite progress on flagship projects.

July 29
Moody's cuts bank outlook to 'negative' on Ottawa's bail-in rule
Investor ratings service Moody’s has changed its outlook for Canada’s biggest banks to negative from stable, citing concerns over the Canadian government’s plan to implement a “bail-in” system in the event of a bank failure.

July 27
"London Fix" Gold Rigging By Bullion Bank Exposed In Class Action Lawsuit: The Complete Charts
We uncovered something that was missed several few weeks earlier: a far more informative and detailed class action lawsuit filed by Edward Derksen on July 9, 2014 against the London gold fix member banks: Bank of Nova Scotia, Barclays, Deutsche, HSBC and SocGen.

July 26
China’s Hong Kong gold imports continue to dive
The conundrum that is the gold price continues to confound. Last year the gold price dropped dramatically despite an enormous level of ongoing gold flows from West to East – particularly into China. Yet yesterday the reports of the lowest monthly level of net gold imports from Hong Kong into mainland China since January 2013 was followed by the gold price putting on something of a surge – it having been driven down to around the $1290 level during the week, but then shooting up to comfortably above $1300 in late trading Friday.

July 26
Deutsche Bank, HSBC Accused of Silver Fix Manipulation
Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) and Bank of Nova Scotia were accused in a lawsuit of rigging the price of billions of dollars in silver, an allegation similar to earlier suits involving the London gold fix.

July 25
Gold Lockdown Until Options Expiry Monday - New Singapore Gold Contract Threatens Manipulation
Gold fell $12.50 or 0.96% yesterday to $1,292.40/oz and silver slid $0.55 or 2.63% to $20.37/oz.Gold was badly impacted by what appears to be high frequency trading (HFT) or programme trading again yesterday with another bout of concentrated selling on two occasions. First, when Asian markets commenced trading and then just as U.S. stock markets started the trading day.

July 25
The Gold Series: The Most Sought After Metal on Earth 
gold-info-graphics.jpg

July 22
Escalating Ukraine crisis could blow gold sky high
Far from coming to an end the Ukraine crisis could be far from over and as the West and Russia are embroiled in accusation and counter-accusation over the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, the potential for escalation is perhaps getting more serious by the day. It has brought a safe-haven focus back into the gold market which is probably likely to remain given Ukraine is not the only major flashpoint of worry with Syrian, Iraqi and Israeli/Gaza (Hamas) conflicts all raging and building up deep-rooted concerns and polarisation amongst those affected.

July 22
3 reasons why every investor should own gold
With Forbes reporting that Sprott now has 90% of his personal wealth invested in gold and silver, the wealthy Canadian certainly has put his money where his mouth is! In one of his recent notes to clients titled: The Ongoing Rot in the Economy, Sprott outlined why he is still so bullish on gold.

July 22
Middle East Seen Gaining Gold Share as Trading Expands
The Middle East will take a bigger share of gold demand as buyers from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates diversify investments and Dubai nears offering a contract for immediate delivery bullion.

July 22
Metal ETFs lure investors at fastest pace since ’09
Investors are buying metals from zinc to aluminum at the fastest pace since 2009, betting demand gains will tighten supply, just as Citigroup Inc. and Macquarie Group Ltd. predict this year’s rallies will end.

July 21
Hedge Funds Cut Bullish Gold Wagers: Commodities
Money managers trimmed their net-long position by 8.5 percent in the week through July 15, U.S. government data show. Prices dropped 2 percent last week, the first loss since May and helping to erase $1.38 billion from the value of exchange-traded products backed by the metal.

July 21
Farmers flock to gold-backed loans in India
Farmers in Andhra Pradesh appear to have taken more loans by pledging gold bars and ornaments, than loans from banks for purely agricultural purposes. Some have even diverted the agri loan and bought gold.

July 18
BULLION LATEST – Geopolitical risk mounts; safe haven buying resumes for gold
Gold surged more than 1.8 percent on the day as investors sought out gold in further news of political turmoil in different parts of the world.

July 17
Strong Investor Interest and Industrial Usage Lead to Sturdy Silver Demand in 2014
Investor and industrial consumption of silver has advanced at a healthy pace in 2014, reflected in the silver price increasing 5 percent as of July 15 from the beginning of the year.

July 17
Third party sought to run London gold fix
London Gold Market Fixing Ltd, the company operating the century-old global price benchmark known as the "fix", said it is seeking a third party to take over administration of the process, possibly signalling a move to an electronic platform.

July 16
Gold Imports by India Surging 65% in June Widens Trade Deficit
Gold imports by India, the world’s second-largest user, jumped 65 percent in June after the central bank allowed more banks and traders to buy bullion overseas, widening the nation’s trade deficit to an 11-month high.

July 16
Bulls might take heart from latest gold smashdown failure
The second phase of the gold price smashdown took place yesterday with, apparently, a sell order for another $2.3 billion hitting the gold futures market. It knocked the gold price back all of $15!

July 14
Yellen says Fed easy money needed even after recovery -report
The Federal Reserve will still need to deliver "unusually accommodative" monetary policy even once the U.S. economy returns to "where we want it to be," Fed Chair Janet Yellen was quoted as saying in a magazine article.

July 13
BIS chief fears fresh Lehman from worldwide debt surge
The world economy is just as vulnerable to a financial crisis as it was in 2007, with the added danger that debt ratios are now far higher and emerging markets have been drawn into the fire as well, the Bank for International Settlements has warned.

July 11
South Africa’s platinum output falls record 49% due to strike
South African output of platinum-group metals sank the most on record in May after a strike halted production at the world’s three biggest producers.

July 11
UPDATE 2-CME, Thomson Reuters win battle to replace century-old silver benchmark
CME Group and Thomson Reuters will operate an electronic silver benchmark when the 117-year-old "fix" is disbanded in August, in a move widely seen preceding sweeping reforms of precious metals price-setting.

July 10
Budget 2014: Gold import duty retained at 10 per cent; bullion markets surprised 
India surprised bullion markets by keeping the import duty on gold and silver unchanged at 10 per cent in its fiscal budget, a move likely to limit overseas purchases by the second-biggest bullion consumer and further encourage smuggling.

July 10
India's gold imports plummet 34% YOY 
India’s gold imports declined nearly 34% to 670.4 tonnes in the year ended March 2014, from the April 2012 to March 2013 fiscal period of 1,013.9 tonnes, following the stringent curbs imposed by the government and the Reserve Bank of India on overseas purchases of the precious metal.

July 9
Survey: Does the London Gold Fix Need to Go?
When the London Silver Market Fixing announced in May that it will stop administering the London silver fix at the end of the day this August 14, the question for many market participants was: “is the gold fix next?”

July 9
Gold Bullion Supply Down, Demand Up
The precious metal has increased 10.2% in price between January and June, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average(NYSEARCA:DIA) climbed by just three percent. Going forward, it will not be surprising to see the precious metal outperform the stock market in the second half of the year as well. 

July8
Time for change in the London bullion market
The London bullion market is an over-the-counter unregulated market and has had this status since the mid-1980s. The disadvantage of an OTC market being unregulated is that change often ends up being driven by a cartel of members promoting their own vested interests. Sadly, this has meant London has not kept pace with developments in market standards elsewhere.

July 8
Gold Shines Again as Hedge Funds Boost Wagers on Advance
Gold has rebounded from last year’s 28 percent plunge that was triggered by muted inflation and as investors shunned the metal in favor of equities.

July 8
Chinese Gold Demand 947 MT YTD
Chinese gold demand, as measured by SGE withdrawals, accounted for 27 metric tonnes in week 26 (June 23 – 27), year to date the counter stands at 947 tonnes. A quick calculation tells us 639 tonnes (SGE withdrawals – scrap – mining) had to be imported for this, annualized 1278 tonnes. 

July 7
Palladium price soars to 13-year high
The price of palladium, hitting $865 an ounce on Friday, made a notable record. It hasn't, as Reuters notes, traded so high since February 2001. What's more, it also surged by highs it hit back in 2011 when it traded in the mid-$800s an ounce. 

July 7
The Stunner From Today's Round Table Debate To "Fix" The London Gold Fix
As those following the saga of the rigged for decades and soon to be history (in its curent incarnation) London gold fix know, today was the date when the World Gold Council held its "Modernising the London Gold Fix: IOSCO and beyond" round table session. 

July 7
World Gold Council gold fix consultation begins
The way the daily London gold fix – an industry reference price – is set is under scrutiny, with industry experts meeting at the offices of the World Gold Council to discuss its reform or replacement. According to the World Gold Council, the meeting, which has started at their offices near St Pauls in London, will take the form of a round-table debate on the reform of the London Gold Fix and the modernisation of the London gold market. 

July 4
Now is the time to buy gold – Nichols
Not a ‘gold bug’, but nevertheless ‘super-bullish’ on gold, precious metals analyst Jeff Nichols sees a recovery in the gold price ahead. 

July 4
The Complete Annotation Of SocGen's Latest Hit Piece On Gold
Gold has held firmly above $1300 for over two weeks, confounding those who said it would never see that key level again, but as the constantly-bearish SocGen explains in this 'astounding' report, gold's downturn is set to return... except their reasoning has a fatal flaw - it's entirely factually incorrect. 

July 2
Australia’s Perth Mint gold sales hit four-month high
Gold sales from Australia’s Perth Mint, which refines all the output in the world’s second-biggest producer of the precious metal, hit the highest level in four months last month, driven by a rally in prices that stimulated demand. 

July 1
India looking at ways to monetise its citizens' gold
With India's gold imports having pressured its current account deficit (CAD), two large Indian public sector banks have suggested that there is a greater need to make use of gold available in the country, and that the precious metal should be made more liquid. A government official has seconded the move, laying bare some aspects of the government's intention to monetise the gold stores held in most households across the country. 

June 25
Why The Next 20 Years Will Be Completely Unlike The Last 20

June 25
China Finds $15 Billion of Loans Backed by Fake Gold Trades
China’s chief auditor discovered 94.4 billion yuan ($15.2 billion) of loans backed by falsified gold transactions, adding to signs of possible fraud in commodities financing deals. 

June 25
Bad to worse: US economy shrank more than expected in Q1

June 25
LBMA Forum Singapore: SGE Chairman Confirms Chinese Gold Demand In 2013 Hit 2000 MT

June 25
Bling for Minister Mastermind Greased Secret Turkey Gold Trade
As the minister in charge of Turkey’s $800 billion economy in 2013, Zafer Caglayan was facing a series of numbers that didn’t bode well for coming elections. Inflation was up, growth was slowing and the lira was weakening. One key measure of financial health was particularly worrisome: the country was importing far more goods, services and capital than it was sending abroad. By October, when he was interviewed by a local CNBC affiliate, Caglayan described the gap as unsustainable and said the government would take steps to improve it. What he didn’t mention was a clandestine export-boosting operation started up more than a year before that was helping to solve the trade imbalance. 

June 25
Secretive Swiss vaults may hold missing link in platinum price equation
The Zurich Freilager alone could hold around 20 percent of the total stocks of platinum, market players say. 

June 24
Gold, the Fed, & the Fiscal Situation of the USA | James Grant & James Turk

June 24
PLATINUM GROUP METALS CPM predicts largest-ever platinum market deficit in 2014
The palladium market is also running a deficit this year, which could total around 367,359 ounces, advises U.S. commodities research firm, CPM Group. 

June 23
Platinum union declares end to South Africa's longest strike
South Africa's AMCU union declared a five-month platinum strike "officially over" on Monday as thousands of miners roared their approval when leader Joseph Mathunjwa asked if they wanted to end the longest work stoppage in the country's history. "Yes! Yes," the miners chorused as the union boss asked whether they wanted to accept the wage offers from producers. 

June 23
German Gold Stays in New York in Rebuff to Euro Doubters
Germany has decided its gold is safe in American hands. Surging mistrust of the euro during Europe’s debt crisis fed a campaign to bring Germany’s entire $141 billion gold reserve home from New York and London. Now, after politics shifted in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition, the government has concluded that stashing half its bullion abroad is prudent after all. 

June 23
Chinese Gold Demand 883 Tonnes YTD
Withdrawals from the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) vaults in week 24 accounted for 33 metric tonnes. Year to date Chinese gold demand, measured by SGE withdrawals, stands at 883 tonnes. A quick calculation (week 1 – 24 SGE withdrawals – mine – scrap) tells us that China net imported 599 tonnes year to date, annualized 1298 tonnes. 

June 20
Russia’s Central Bank Buys 300,000 Ounce of Gold in May
Since Friday was also the 20th of the month, the good folks over at The Central Bank of the Russian Federation updated their website with the May data. It showed that they had purchased another 300,000 troy ounces of gold for their reserves during the month. 

June 20
Shanghai to Start International Gold Trading in 4Q
China, the world’s biggest gold user, will start international gold trading in Shanghai’s free-trade zone in the final quarter of this year, according to a city government official. “We will aim to commence trading in the fourth quarter,” Zheng Yang, head of Shanghai’s financial services office, said today in a conference in the city. The nation’s central bank earlier this week approved the trading platform to be included in the zone’s banking system. 

June 18
Place of gold in a perilous world
With numerous conflict flashpoints around the world and the possibility of market collapses there has never been a better time to hold some gold as insurance. 

June 18
James Grant: Fed 'Pouring Fire' on 'Glowing Embers of Inflation'
The Federal Reserve's continuation of a highly accommodative monetary policy, even as it tapers its quantitative easing, spells trouble for the economy and financial markets, says James Grant, editor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer. While the Fed is likely to announce another reduction in its bond purchases Wednesday, many economists expect the central bank to keep short-term interest rates near zero until at least mid-2015. And Fed officials indicate they won't trim the central bank's $4.3 trillion balance sheet quickly.  

June 17
SA gold mining: Endgame?
Predicting the future of gold mining in South Africa has become easy these days. With a lot of conviction, I can forecast that our production will continue to decline. Having peaked in 1970, it has fallen to a 109-year low of 167 tons in 2012, at which point Peru overtook us in the global ranking. Forecasting seems particularly easy at this point in time because, for exactly 20 years now, SA's declining output has followed a distinct linear pattern (if we disregard the effect of the 2012 strike). In itself, this is highly remarkable since it has completely disregarded the law of price elasticity: no supply response at all following bullion's spectacular price increase after 2001. 

June 17
Mining’s bearish pendulum swinging, in a big way, in other direction - MRG
“In an unprecedented turn of events, only 14% of mining executives now hold a bearish outlook as to the overall strength of the industry over the next 6-12 months,” reported Mining Recruitment Group’s Mining Executive Outlook, Q3 2014 Monday. “This is down remarkably from the 64% of executives who held the same view at this point of last year and the 52% who were bearish as of Q4 13.” 

June 17
The Bank Of England Lost 487 Tonnes Of Gold In 2013
The Bank Of England (BoE) just came out with their annual report 2014. In the report it’s stated the BoE is the custodian of 5584 metric tonnes of gold (£140 billion pounds measured February 28, 2014). 

June 15
SGE Chairman: China Should Become First Class International Gold Market
Speaking at the “Fourth Commercial Bank Gold Investment Forum” in Hangzhou, Xu Luode, Chairman of the Shanghai Gold Exchange said the Chinese gold market is an important force, a positive energy in the international gold market but its influence does not correspond to its mass and scale. Therefore to accelerate the development of China’s gold market, he proposed building China’s “Shanghai Gold”. 

June 12
Silver: The Undercover Super Metal 

June 12
Platinum Miners Reach Tentative Deal With South African Union
Lonmin PLC Thursday said it has reached a tentative deal over wages and working conditions with the leadership of the union that has brought the South African platinum mining industry to a halt for months. In a statement, the company said the two sides have reached "informal undertakings" in principle on a potential deal. Peers Anglo American Platinum Ltd, part of Anglo American PLC, and Impala Platinum Holding Ltd have received the same in principle undertakings, it added. 

June 11
China has world’s second largest gold resource
While China has now been the world’s largest producer of gold for the past seven years, there have always been questions asked as to whether the current level of gold output (430 tonnes in 2013) is sustainable. Now figures out of The Bureau of Raw Material from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology suggest that there certainly are sufficient gold resources available to retain this position for the foreseeable future. 

June 11
Fed Prepares to Maintain Record Balance Sheet for Years
Federal Reserve officials, concerned that selling bonds from their $4.3 trillion portfolio could crush the U.S. recovery, are preparing to keep their balance sheet close to record levels for years. Central bankers are stepping back from a three-year-old strategy for an exit from the unprecedented easing they deployed to battle the worst recession since the Great Depression. Minutes of their last meeting in April made no mention of asset sales. 

June 10
Shrouding China's gold trade, more imports go under radar
SINGAPORE, June 11 (Reuters) - Banks have started trial gold imports directly into the Shanghai free trade zone ahead of the launch of a gold exchange there, threatening to further obscure the level of buying by the world's top consumer. The bulk of gold bought by China used to flow through Hong Kong, making its export data a useful proxy for Chinese demand as Beijing treats data about imports of the precious metal as a state secret. 

June 10
Palladium soars on strike news
Palladium, the emission-scrubbing cousin of platinum, has soared to a 39-month high as the South African government failed to end a 19-week strike. 

June 10
Gold price benchmark open to manipulation – LME CEO
LONDON – The global gold price setting benchmark or "fix" is open to manipulation, said the head of the London Metal Exchange (LME), which is competing to offer an alternative to the silver fix when the system is disbanded in August. The gold and silver fixes, along with other commodity benchmarks, have come under increasing scrutiny by regulators in Europe and the United States since a London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) manipulation case last year. 

June 9
Steve Forbes: We Will Return to Gold Standard
Business mogul Steve Forbes says that not only is a return to the gold standard a realistic option, but "circumstances" in our economy will necessitate it. "We were on the gold standard for 180 years in this country's history — did very well with it," Forbes told J.D. Hayworth, John Bachman and Miranda Khan on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV on Monday. 

June 6
Asian gold strategy clarifying
The Russians came up with an extraordinary statement recently, central to why Russia and China are buying gold, the importance of which was missed by the media. President Putin said that "Russia and China need to secure their gold and foreign reserves." He may have been overstepping the mark in making comments about China's monetary policy, but he was unlikely to have done so without good reason. Furthermore it is impossible to secure foreign currency reserves, because they are at all times under the control of the issuing central banks. So what Putin was actually implying was that China and Russia need to secure their gold. 

June 6
Platinum prices will still take some time to peak
Even if the South African platinum strikes were to end tomorrow, it will take a long time for the industry to regain its old output levels leading to a substantial deficit this year and next. 

June 6
One Ton Gold Shipment Into Hong Kong Revealed To Contain Just Worthless Metal
Two years ago, stories of fake tungsten-filled gold coins and bars began to spread; it appears, between the shortage of physical gold (after Asian central bank buying) and the increase in smuggling (courtesy of India's controls among others) that gold fraud is back on the rise. As SCMP reports, a mainland China businessman, Zhao Jingjun, discovered that HK$270 million of 998kg of gold bars he bought in Ghana had been swapped for non-precious metal bars. What is perhaps even more worrisome, given the probe into commodity-financing deals and the rehypothecation evaporation; these gold bars were shipped to a Chinese warehouse before Zhao was able to confirm the fraud. 

June 6
The World Gold Council’s New Clothes
On this blog I’ve repeatedly questioned the Chinese gold demand figures from the World Gold Council, or “the global authority on gold” as they call themselves (which is weird when you think about it, how can any institution be the global authority on gold?). In 2013 Chinese wholesale gold demand was 2197 tonnes, though the World Gold Council claims demand was 1066 tonnes. All their arguments that should explain the difference appeared to have been untenable after researching them. 

June 6
The Gold Conspiracy
As increasingly more conspiracy 'theories' become conspiracy 'facts', The History Channel discusses "The Gold Conspiracy" in this brief documentary. 

June 3
Banks routinely rigged gold fix to defend their positions, Financial Times reports
When the UK's financial regulator slapped a L26 million fine on Barclays for lax controls related to the gold fix, it offered more ammunition to critics of the near-century-old benchmark. But it also gave precious metal traders in the City of London plenty to think about. 

June 2
Ecuador Transfers Half Its Gold Reserves To Goldman Sachs In Exchange For "Liquidity"
This is a great example of how the game works. In a world in which every government on earth needs “liquidity” to survive, and the primary goal of every government is and always has been survival (the retention of arbitrary power at all costs), the provider of liquidity is king. So what is liquidity and who provides it? 

May 30
China and India consuming more gold than the world mines
In opening last week’s precious metals forum in London, Bloomberg Industries Global Head of Metals and Mining, Ken Hoffman, kicked off with some of the latest stats which showed that China and India between them are consuming more gold than the world is actually mining. The Bloomberg figures suggested that China was consuming gold at a rate of 5.15 million ounces a month and India - even at a reduced rate through import restrictions - 2.85 million ounces a month, making a total of 8 million ounces a month. And these figures may even understate the case given the Bloomberg figures for China are based on gold imports through Hong Kong and China’s own production, whereas gold is also imported through other points of entry.

May 30
Platinum finally seen rising as producers' metal stocks near end
Platinum prices, undisturbed by a South African mine strike now in its fifth month, could soon begin to rise as the metal stocks built up by producers in anticipation of the strike finally run low. While market watchers estimate that the strike - the longest and costliest in South African history - could cost a million ounces of lost output this year, spot platinum remains where it was when the strike broke out in January, at $1,450 an ounce.

May 29
Major metals exchanges vie for London Silver Fix 2.0
Major metal exchanges emerged as contenders in developing an alternative to the London silver price benchmark, or "fix", after the century-old system for setting the globally recognised price is disbanded in August. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the London Metal Exchange (LME) both said on Thursday they were working with the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) and the precious metals industry to find an electronic-based solution.

May 27
Full transparency needed in gold, platinum price determinations
Full transparency is needed in the determination of the gold and platinum prices following the worrying manipulation finding of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the case of gold.To restore credibility, a bright searchlight needs to be kept on both pricing systems, which impact the lives of particularly mineworkers, who risk their lives daily in circumstances that are often dangerous, only to be cheated by the lack of proper oversight by in this case Barclays Bank.

May 26
Switzerland last year exported $132 billion of gold
Latest data from the World Gold Council shows demand from top gold consumers China and India slowed dramatically in the first quarter of this year. While clearly calming down from the torrid pace last year, the movement of gold and silver from West to East continue to transform the global gold market in fundamental ways.

May 26
Austria sending auditors to check gold held by Bank of England
January last year Germany's central bank, the Bundesbank, said it will ship back home all 374 tonnes of gold it had stored with the Banque de France in Paris, as well as the 300 tonnes held in Manhattan by the US Federal Reserve, by 2020. Fast forward a year and Buba, as the Federal Bank of Germany is sometimes referred to, has only managed to bring home a paltry 37 tonnes of gold.

May 23
LBMA Receives Over 250 Responses So Far On Alternative To Silver Fixing
The London Bullion Market Association said Friday it has received more than 250 responses so far as part of its “market consultation” process on developing a new mechanism for the London silver fixing, and it will continue an online survey until May 30.

May 23
Caught Red-Handed: This Is What Zoomed In Gold Manipulation Looks Like
Now that gold manipulation is no longer conspiracy theory and has joined every other "tinfoil" narrative into the realm of conspiracy fact, we urge readers to catch up on both what was the story of the day, namely the UK regulator cracking down on exactly one (1) Barclays trader for manipulating the gold price in a way that prevented him from paying out a substantial fee to his counterparty (and also being the absolutely only person in all of Barclays and every other bank to manipulate gold, of course), as well as reading the full explanation of just how said manipulation was conducted.

May 23
Barclays Fined For Manipulating Price Of Gold For A Decade; Sending "Bursts" Of Sell Orders
It was almost inevitable: a week after we wrote "From Rothschild To Koch Industries: Meet The People Who "Fix" The Price Of Gold" and days after "Barclays' Head Of Gold Trading, And Gold "Fixer", Is Leaving The Bank", earlier today the UK Financial Conduct Authority finally formalized what most in the "tin-foil" hat community had known for years, when it announced that it fined Barclays £26 million for manipulating "the setting of the price of gold in order to avoid paying out on a client order." Furthermore, the FCA confirmed that those inexplicable gold raids which come as if out of nowhere, and slam gold with a vicious force so strong sometime they halt the entire market, had a very specific source: Barclays, whose trader Daniel James Plunkett, born 1976, "sent out a burst of orders aimed at moving the price of the yellow metal." 

May 22
Carmaker Hype Sends Palladium To Highest Against Gold In 10 Years
Gold is trading at the lowest level relative to palladium since 2004 as Bloomberg notes that prospects for a record shortage has lured investors to the metal used in pollution-control devices for cars amid concern that supply will be disrupted. As the chart below shows an oz of gold buys only 1.54 oz of palladium (less than a 3rd of the 5oz gold could buy in 2009) as supply problems (mining strikes and Russian sanctions) collide with demand expectations (the 'recovery' of the global car market). Despite GM's problems, record levels of channel-stuffed inventories, and a still stagnant consumer (showing no interest in big purchases), IHS expects a record level of auto sales this year at 85 million. Seems like this ratio is an interesting derivative play on the excessive exuberance in the world's car market expectations. 

May 21
Platinum market deficit seen widening in 2014
The platinum market is expected to post a deficit of 1.218 million ounces this year, a report from Johnson Matthey showed on Tuesday, the largest shortfall since it began compiling data in 1975.

May 21
Will central banks need to buy Gold back from the Market?
There is a belief that central bank gold in the custody of the world’s leading central banks such as the Fed, the Bank of England and the Banque de France has been leased out to the market. Central Banks have confirmed this, but it remains a source of contention. Even where the gold of the world’s central banks are held in the world’s leading central banks in a custodial arrangement this is so and it is reasonable to assume that this could not be done without the gold’s owner’s permission.

May 21
Flooded By Gold Smuggling, India's New Cabinet Prepares To Lift Gold Capital Controls
Recall that India is a country which, in order to keep its current account deficit at bay, instituted the most draconian gold capital control measures in history to prevent its population from taking refuge from scorching inflation and parking its fiat in gold. Here is an incomplete summary of the measures taken in 2013 by India.

May 21
Russia Buys 900,000 Ounces Of Gold Worth $1.17 Billion In April
The Russian central bank has again increased its gold reserves by another 900,000 ounces worth $1.17 billion in April. Russia's gold reserves rose to 34.4 million troy ounces in April, from 33.5 million troy ounces in March, the Russian central bank announced on its website yesterday. The value of its gold holdings rose to $44.30 billion as of May 1, compared with $43.36 billion a month earlier, it added. 

May 20
Latest ECB gold sales agreement raises questions
The latest European Central Bank statement on the next ECB central banks gold sales agreement is raising some serious questions among gold followers.The new ECB gold sales agreement will come into force for a five-year term in September. We have published the official ECB statement on this, alongside that released five years ago for the 2009 agreement here on Mineweb and the not-so subtle difference has already raised concerns – particularly among those who believe strongly that central bank gold policy is all about controlling the price of the yellow metal.

May 20
Gold Price Manipulation Goes Mainstream On German TV
Public TV channel 3sat, which is a cooperation between Germany, Austria and Switzerland, broadcasted a short documentary on gold price manipulation on May 9, 2014. More and more mainstream news outlets are covering the allegedly gold price manipulation, after evidence is pilling up and many other market manipulations, like LIBOR, are coming out.

May 20
Gold demand in India to rise, Modi seen easing import curbs
India's gold demand is likely to pick up in the second half of the year as curbs on bullion imports are expected to be eased by the country's new government, the World Gold Council (WGC) and other industry officials said on Tuesday. 

May 20
Barclays' Head Of Gold Trading, And Gold "Fixer", Is Leaving The Bank
Last week, for the first time ever, in "From Rothschild To Koch Industries: Meet The People Who "Fix" The Price Of Gold" Zero Hedge shone a spotlight on the mysterious, and "without any permanent employees" company known as The London Gold Market Fixing Limited which for 117 years has served as the corporate face of the London bankers who "fix" the price of gold twice daily. Since then, more than one of the LinkedIn pages we profiled of the bankers among the 5 gold fixing banks has quietly been taken down. However, the biggest surprise took place moments ago when none other than the head of spot gold trading at Barclays, Marc Booker, did what so many heads of spot FX trading in the past few months have done over fears of being caught in the ongoing manipulation probe: he exited stage left from Barclays HQ at One Chruchill Place. 

May 20
World Gold Council: First-Quarter Demand Holds Steady With Year-Ago Levels At 1,074.5 Tons
Gold demand in the first quarter was 1,074.5 metric tons, on par with bullion demand the first quarter of last year, the World Gold Council said Tuesday. Compared demand in the first quarter of 2013 of 1,077.2 tons, gold demand in the first quarter of this year was down 0.25%. The WGC said jewelry demand rose 3% because of lower prices versus the first quarter of last year, along with season factors such as Chinese New Year. China saw record first-quarter jewelry demand, the group said.  

May 20
The Birth of a New Bull Market
Underneath the headlines lies an irreparable situation with the PGM (Platinum Group Metals) market, one that will last at least several years and probably more like a decade. This market is teetering on the edge of a supply crunch, one more perilous than many investors realize. As the issues outlined below play out, prices will be forced higher—which signals that we should diversify into the “other” precious metals now.

May 15
Greenspan: Taxpayers on the Hook to Rescue JPMorgan in Crisis
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said JPMorgan Chase & Co. is akin to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because taxpayers would shoulder the burden of its rescue in an emergency, rather than let it collapse.

May 15
World top 20 silver producers – countries and companies
Mexico comfortably retained the World No. 1 producer slot for silver in 2013, while that country’s Fresnillo moved into the top spot among silver miners. 

May 14
From Rothschild To Koch Industries: Meet The People Who "Fix" The Price Of Gold
Earlier today many were stunned when the historic, 117-year old, London Silver Fix announced that in three months it would no longer exist. However, silver is only one half of the world's two best known precious metals. Which is why we decided to take a long, hard look at that other fix: gold. 

May 14
AMCU strikers block South African platinum mine

About 1,000 stick-wielding strikers gathered outside Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine in South Africa on Wednesday.

May 14
Physical silver demand hit record high in 2013 - GFMS
Thomson Reuters GFMS reports that total silver physical demand rose 13% in 2013 to an all-time high of 1,081.1 million ounces.

May 14
The Beginning Of The End Of Precious Metals Manipulation: The London Silver Fix Is Officially Dead
The London Silver Market Fixing Limited (the 'Company') announces that it will cease to administer the London Silver Fixing with effect from close of business on 14 August 2014. Until then, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Bank USA N.A. and The Bank of Nova Scotia will remain members of the Company and the Company will administer the London Silver Fixing and continue to liaise with the FCA and other stakeholders. 

May 13
Gold demand double whammy
The gold price has been rising and falling with the changing perceptions of what is happening, or likely to happen in the Ukraine – but there should be other factors at play too which are just as relevant. 

May 12
Rosa Abrantes-Metz on Manipulation of the PM London Gold Fix

May 12
India's gold imports plunge in April
As gold smuggling in India surges, official imports continue to wither. According to trade figures revealed by the government at the end of last week gold imports declined over 74% to $1.75 billion in April, as compared to the same month a year ago, given the government's large scale import restrictions. 

May 6
Load of bullion: new gold-backed bitcoin is a disaster in waiting
Minacoin sounds like a libertarian dream, but it doesn't make sense 

May 6
Gold set to surge or slump?
In the past couple of weeks, the price of gold again dipped below $1,300 and silver temporarily slipped below $19. As this happened, at least two major brokerage houses forecast a sharp decline in the price of gold. One went so far as to predict that gold would not top $1,300 for the balance of 2014 (which was quickly proved incorrect). 

May 6
Is Silver Joining Gold in Safe-Haven Status?

May 6
And The First Thing Ukraine Will Buy With IMF Money Is...
Kiev will use the first portion of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan for augmenting its gold and currency reserves in order to stabilize the financial situation in the country, National Bank Chairman Stepan Kubiv said on Monday, May 5. 

May 6
Downturn in gold exploration will hit future production
This year’s opening keynote at the Denver Gold Group’s European Gold Forum in Zurich was presented by Michael Chender of SNL MEG who came up with some very interesting statistics on gold exploration and their likely impact on gold output going forward. Chender’s Metals Economics Group (MEG), which was taken over by SNL about two years ago, has been one of the foremost researchers into mineral exploration trends for many years and the group’s analyses carry considerable weight in the analysis sector. 

May 5
Shipwreck Hunter Odyssey Recovers Gold From Atlantic
Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc., a marine salvager specializing in extracting cargoes from sunken ships, recovered its first gold from a 19th-century vessel lying more than a mile beneath the Atlantic Ocean. Odyssey recovered almost 1,000 ounces (31 kilograms) on April 15 during its first reconnaissance dive to the wreck of the SS Central America. The precious metals included five gold ingots and two $20 Double Eagle coins, Tampa, Florida-based Odyssey said today in a statement. 

May 4
Gold bullion coins buying peace of mind
Throughout 2013, as the big boys were jettisoning their gold holdings, the little guys were increasingly buying gold bullion coins, specifically the American Eagle. 

May 1
U.S. Senate Aging Committee probes precious metals fraud
Precious metals fraud remains the sixth-most significant form of financial fraud in the United States, says the Enforcement Section Committee of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NAASA). 

April 29
Union Says S. Africa Platinum Strikers Rejecting Pay Deal
The biggest union at South Africa’s platinum mines said members are rejecting the latest pay offer from the world’s largest producers to end a more than three-month strike at most of their operations. 

April 29
Deutsche Bank resigns gold, silver fix seat with no buyer
Deutsche Bank has resigned its seat on the London precious metal fixes without finding a buyer, a spokesman for the lender said on Tuesday, leaving four banks to set the global gold price benchmark under increasing regulatory scrutiny. 

April 25
Bank of Nova Scotia to get visit from British watchdog as scrutiny of London gold fixing grows, sources say
Regulators are stepping up their scrutiny of how gold prices are set, with officials from Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority visiting all five member banks including the Bank of Nova Scotia to observe the so-called London fixing process, two people with knowledge of the matter said. 

April 25
U.K. Gold Demand Seen Rising as Regulator Reviews Pensions
U.K. gold demand will get a boost from investors saving up for retirement if the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority adds bullion to its list of “standard assets,” brokerage GoldCore Ltd. said. “It should lead to an increased demand for gold and to gold being on the radar of more mainstream investors,” Mark O’Byrne, a director at Dublin-based GoldCore, which manages more than $200 million in bullion, said in a phone interview yesterday. “If that happened, it would contribute to gold being seen almost as a mainstream asset.” 

April 24
CME plans to launch physically settled Asia gold futures-sources
CME Group Inc plans to launch a physically deliverable gold futures contract in Asia, three sources familiar with the matter said, as the world's No.1 futures exchange targets rising hedging and investor demand in the top gold-consuming region.

April 24
TABLE-Swiss platinum imports from South Africa slump in March
Switzerland's platinum imports slumped in March as shipments of raw metal from strike-hit major producer South Africa plummeted to their lowest level in 5-1/2 years, data from the Swiss customs bureau showed on Thursday. Raw platinum imports to Switzerland from South Africa fell to 157 kg in March, their lowest of any month since July 2008 and down 95 percent year on year, the data showed.  

April 22
E-trading pulls gold into forex units as commodity desks shrink
The increasing use of technology on financial trading floors is driving a trend for banks to roll precious metals operations into their forex businesses as a separate unit from other commodities activities. Barclays on Tuesday followed similar moves by rivals Deutsche Bank, UBS, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley by announcing that it would keep its gold trading business while hiving off most of its global commodities operations. 

April 20
China allows gold imports via Beijing, sources say, amid reserves buying talk
China has begun allowing gold imports through its capital Beijing, sources familiar with the matter said, in a move that would help keep purchases by the world's top bullion buyer discreet at a time when it might be boosting official reserves. 

April 18
Gold bars removed from Indian man's stomach
Twelve bars of gold have been recovered from the stomach of a businessman in the Indian capital, Delhi, a surgeon treating him has said. 

April 16
India's pain is UAE's gain - Indian expats buy up gold jewellery
If any nation is happy about India' gold import curbs it is the UAE, where bullion traders are registering brisk sales given the restrictions on the import of the precious metal in India. 

April 15
China's gold market: progress and prospects
A major report published by the World Gold Council "China's gold market: progress and prospects" suggests that private sector demand for gold in China is set to increase 20% from the current level of 1,132 tonnes(t) per year to at least 1,350t by 20171. Following the record level of Chinese demand in 2013, which saw the country become the world’s largest gold market, the report suggests that while 2014 is likely to see consolidation, the succeeding years are likely to see sustained growth. 

April 14
A Gold Obsession Pays Dividends For Indian Women
It's indestructible. It's fungible. It's beautiful. And for Indians, gold – whether it's 18-, 22- or 24-carat — is semi-sacred. The late distinguished Indian economist I.G. Patel observed, "In prosperity as in the hour of need, the thoughts of most Indians turn to gold." No marriage takes place without gold ornaments presented to the bride. Even the poorest Indian outfits girls in the family with a simple nose ring of gold. The India of old was known as "sone ki chidiya" or "golden sparrow," so opulent were the jewels of its rulers from the Moghul dynasty to the princely states. For Indian women who were not formally educated, gifting them gold was their social security. Today, whether Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, or Muslim, bedecking the bride in gold invests her with good fortune, according to anthropologist Nilika Mehrotra. 

April 14
Palladium at Highest Since 2011 on Ukraine as Gold Gains
Palladium rose to the highest price since 2011 in New York on concern supply may be restricted as tension escalated over Ukraine. Gold reached a three-week high. 

April 11
Hugely outnumbered – Western gold bears by Asian gold enthusiasts
Western citizenry is hugely outnumbered by a rapidly growing Eastern middle class with gold purchasing aspirations which has to be having a strong cumulative effect on the long term gold price. 

April 11
Pressure on India to cut gold duty mounts
The stage appears to be set for India to reduce import duty on gold. Government data released on Friday showed that gold and silver imports have declined 40% to $33.46 billion in 2013-14, as compared to the $55.79 billion in 2012-13. India's exports have jumped a bit, while imports dipped by over 8% narrowing the trade deficit. 

April 11
U.S. mined silver output continues to fall
U.S. mines produced 80,900 kilograms (2,600,995 troy ounces) of silver in November 2013, a 14% decrease from the 94,300 kg (3,031,815 oz) produced in November 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. Monthly silver production continued on a downward trend that began in June 2013, the USGS observed. Average daily U.S. silver production in November 2013 was 2,700 kg (86,807 oz), compared with 3,140 kg (100,953 oz) in November 2012. 

April 10
Prepare for bull market to shock even most ardent goldbugs
Jay Taylor understands why investors in gold and gold equities are consumed with caution. But the publisher and editor of J. Taylor's Gold, Energy & Tech Stocks and host of the radio show "Turning Hard Times into Good Times" urges them not to lose sight of the big picture. The big, bull-market picture. Gold juniors with cash and good projects are trading at tiny fractions of their worth. But not for long. In this interview with The Gold Report, Taylor argues that we are on the cusp of a bull market for the ages and suggests eight junior candidates for mind-blowing multiples. 

April 9
China's Demand for Gold Has Trapped The West's Central Banks
In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Alasdair Macleod build on the insights laid out in Chris' recent mega-report last week on gold: The Screaming Fundamentals for Owning Gold. And specifically, they delve deeply into the poorly-understood topic of why Chinese demand has become such a game changer in recent years. 

April 8
Chinese Gold Demand 559 MT YTD, Up 16 %
In week 13 (24-03-2014/28-03-2014) 36 metric tonnes of gold were withdrawn from the vaults of the Shanghai Gold Exchange. This is the fourth week in a row withdrawals are below the weekly average year to date, which is currently is 43 metric tonnes. Chinese physical demand is dropping from extremely high at the beginning of this year to high in recent weeks. The weekly average of the last four weeks was 35 metric tonnes. 

April 7
Ted Dixon: What Gold Stock Insider Trading Tells Us
Despite the recent big gains in gold stocks, company insiders and institutional investors are still 2.5 times more likely to be buyers than sellers. According to Ted Dixon, cofounder and CEO of INK Research, this shows that those in the know are still quite bullish, despite the pullback in March. In this interview with The Gold Report, Dixon names the top insider buyers by dollar amount and by volume, and explains how investors should interpret this data. 

April 7
March gold imports jump to 10-month high in India
India’s gold imports in March rose to nearly 50 tonnes, the highest since the Reserve Bank of India’s import curbs came into force in May last year, according an estimate by the the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation, an organisation that caters to more than 300,000 jewellers. Last month, Indian imported around 25 tonnes of gold, despite the curbs on the precious metal. 

April 7
The Screaming Fundamentals For Owning Gold - Updated 2014 edition
The punch line is this: Gold (and silver) is not in bubble territory, and its largest gains remain yet to be realized; especially if current monetary, fiscal, and fundamental supply-and-demand trends remain in play. 

April 7
Gold manipulation – ex US Treasury top gun tells us how and why
Former U.S. Treasury Under Secretary, Paul Craig Roberts, asserts that the Fed and its banker allies do indeed manipulate the gold price to their own ends and describes how this is achieved. 

April 7
Lend us your gold: Indian banks push farmers to back loans with gold
With agricultural loans turning in the highest numbers of bad loans, banks in India are asking farmers to pledge their gold. 

April 7
THE 2014 GOLD SERIES: PART 2 OF 5
“Unearthing the World’s Gold Supply” 

April 4
Boosting forex reserves: Pakistan refuses to sell $2.7b worth of gold says IMF
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has refused to sell gold worth $2.7 billion, citing national security reasons, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pushes Islamabad to convert the precious metal into cash to build foreign currency reserves, revealed the global lender’s report on Friday. 

April 4
Gold clear benefactor should US, EU and Russia wage financial war
As the Ukrainian crisis unfolded threats of financial war came from Russia and to a lesser extent from the E.U. and the U.S. They were not carried out except a few sanctions targeting key personnel in Russia. These were shrugged off and the crisis appears to have dropped to a series of posturing by both sides. A sigh of relief crossed the developed world and investment life went back to normal. In the past we have had similar events that were defused in a similar way. But history teaches us that that the world can suppurate easily and quickly in tense situation like this. The First World War started because of one shot from a pistol. The Second World War was preceded by trumpeting of ‘peace in our time’ as mistaken politicians thought they had made peace with Germany.  

April 4
ECB considers printing more money
The European Central Bank over the next months will consider various options of 'quantitative easing' - also known as money printing - to counter a very low inflation rate, ECB chief Mario Draghi said Thursday (3 April) in a press conference. 

April 3
The dirt on India's latest gold-smuggling seizures
Gold smuggling continues to plague India despite official efforts to curb it with reduced tarriffs and new enforcement initiatives. Looking back over the past week our corrrespondent in India reports a series bold smuggling attempts. These seizures surely represent but a small part of the amount of illegal gold that actually crosses the border, some of which looks to be playing a role in funding India's coming general election.  

April 3
Precious Metals: 6 Degrees Of Separation As HFT Goes Mainstream
The metals HFT trading is used by the large commercial banks to push the market in whatever price direction they deem “necessary” to affect a profit. 

April 2
Why are platinum and palladium not meeting analyst expectations?
While every now and again some analyst or other comments that perhaps palladium is outperforming gold, or platinum is, on the year to date both the pgms have moved up pretty well pari passu with gold overall. All three metals are around 7-8% up since the beginning of the year. Indeed gold moved up substantially further during the height of the Ukraine crisis and while the pgms followed they did not quite do so to the same extent. As gold has fallen back though, the pgms have caught up again.

April 1
American Silver Eagle Bullion Sales Jump in March, Platinum Eagles Debut
Sales of the United States Mint's American Silver Eagle bullion coins experienced strong sales during the month of March, exceeding the levels of both the prior month and year ago period. American Gold Eagle sales were decidedly lower for the month, and American Platinum Eagles saw their return after more than a five year gap in availability

April 1
Recent gold price decline surprising – Nichols
With gold slipping back another $10 yesterday to the $1,280s – nearly $100 down on its brief peak during the peak of the Russia/Ukraine/Crimea crisis – it remains around 7% up on the year to date but, as Nichols points out, as it slips back below its 200 day moving average the technical picture has been damaged and the short term momentum is negative. 

March 31
Gold Wins The First Quarter While Dow Drops Most Since 2012
Gold is the best performing asset of the quarter and HY bonds worst as the USD ended unchanged. 

March 28
Ask the Expert – James Rickards
James Rickards is the author of the national bestseller Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis and the forthcoming The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System. He’s a portfolio manager at the West Shore Group and a partner in the Tangent Capital Partners, a merchant bank based in New York. He’s also a counselor and investment advisor and has held senior positions at Citi Bank, Long-Term Capital Management in Caxton Associates. With that, I’d like to welcome James Rickards. Hi, James. 

March 27
Silver Vault for 600 Tons Starting in Singapore on Demand
Silver Bullion Pte, a Singapore supplier of coins and bars to retail investors, opens a 600 metric ton vault tomorrow as investor demand increases. The storage could hold silver worth $390 million at prices on March 21. The company doubled sales to 1.04 million ounces in 2013 from 517,000 ounces a year earlier, said Gregor Gregersen, who founded the company in 2009. Almost all the sales were silver, he said in an interview in Singapore on March 18. 

March 27
Gold Imports by India Seen Rebounding by Billionaire Jeweler
Gold imports by India, the second-biggest consumer, will rebound in the second half as a new government may ease trade curbs while festivals and weddings spur demand, said billionaire jeweler T.S. Kalyanaraman. 

March 25
SA platinum strike causing ‘irreparable’ damage - producers
Platinum producers Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin said on Tuesday a strike now in its ninth week at their South African mines was causing irreparable damage to the sector and local economy. Wage talks have broken down between the companies and the striking AMCU union, which is demanding a doubling of basic wages, although the world's top three platinum producers said they were open to talks "within a reasonable settlement zone". 

March 25
Iraq Buys $1.56 Bln of Gold, Biggest Purchase in 3 Years
Iraq bought 36 metric tons of gold this month valued at about $1.56 billion in the largest purchase by a nation in three years. The Central Bank of Iraq acquired the metal to help stabilize the Iraqi dinar against foreign currencies, it said in an e-mailed statement. The country held about 29.8 tons of bullion as of August, according to data on the International Monetary Fund’s website. The latest addition was the biggest since Mexico bought 78.5 tons in March 2011. 

March 25
China’s Gold Imports From Hong Kong Increase on Import Quotas
China’s gold imports from Hong Kong rose in February amid increasing demand and as the country allowed more banks to import the precious metal. Net imports totaled 109.2 metric tons last month, compared with 83.6 tons in January and 60.9 tons a year earlier, according to calculations by Bloomberg News based on data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department today. Exports to Hong Kong from China fell to 15.8 tons in February from 19 tons in January, the Statistics Department said in a separate statement. Mainland China doesn’t publish such data. 

March 24
The China Commodity Funding Deals (CCFDs) are bullish for the gold price. Here’s why
As we all know, Chinese investors are gobbling up whatever physical metal they can at these low gold prices. The CCFDs are being used by wealthy Chinese - namely those who have access to these credit facilities - to borrow against metal they own in order to buy more metal. 

March 24
Zerohedge Is Wrong
The stench of a well-trodden cow pasture is emanating from the Zerohedge article which tries to blame the decline in the price of gold during 2013 on China’s use of a complicated commodities financing structure. Long time readers know that I always give ZH credit for digging up a lot of information and news items that we might otherwise miss. It is invaluable in that respect. However, Zerohedge has historically missed the boat with respect to knowledge and understanding of the precious metals market. As everyone knows by now, China imported a record amount of gold in 2013. As everyone should also know by now, the reason China’s appetite for gold – which put the total amount of gold “consumed” by the world far in excess of the amount of gold produced by all gold mines globally in 2013 – did not send the price of gold soaring was due to unprecedented intervention in the gold market by western Central Banks using the big bullion banks (JPM, HSBC, Scotia, Deutsche Bank primarily) as their agent in the market.

March 23
ZeroHedge - How China Imported A Record $70 Billion In Physical Gold Without Sending The Price Of Gold Soaring
A little over a month ago, we reported that following a year of record-shattering imports, China finally surpassed India as the world's largest importer of physical gold. This was hardly a surprise to anyone who has been following our coverage of the ravenous demand for gold out of China, starting in September 2011, and tracing it all the way to the present. 

March 20
Gold Completes Golden Cross
For the first time in 13 months, gold's 50-day moving-average is above its 200-day moving-average. This so-called "golden cross" occurred in Feb 09 before gold surged over 100% in the following years (but also occurred 'falsely' in September 2012. 

March 20
Yellen knocks gold. Will Putin drive it back up again?
In her first post FOMC meeting statement Janet Yellen, the U.S. Fed’s new chairman, succeeded in creating uncertainty in both the general equities market and in gold and silver prices - and with the latter in particular with gold falling back sharply down to the low $1320s and silver falling even more to just north of $20 - levels not seen since late February.

March 19
Gold smuggling explodes in India

 Ten Afghan nationals, including nine women, were arrested at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport on the night of March 18, as they allegedly tried to smuggle in 38 kilograms of gold worth $1 million (Rs 100 million). The arrests - the first time officials uncovered large-scale involvement of Afghan nationals - reveal the new heights to which gold smuggling has reached in India with the government curbing imports of the precious metal into the country.

March 18
Silver Bullion Coin Sales Rose to Record High in 2013
Strong investment demand for silver drove global sales of one-ounce silver bullion coins to an all-time record high in 2013, while early indications suggest that investors’ interest in acquiring silver coins is healthy in the opening weeks of 2014. The U.S. Mint sold 42,675,000 American Eagle Silver Bullion coins in 2013; 26 percent more than the 33,700,000 coins sold in 2012, hitting a new single-year record for the most purchased since the U.S. Mint began producing the one-ounce silver coin in 1986. 

March 17
UBS Investigated For Gold Manipulation Suggesting Gold Inquiry Goes Beyond London Fix
The last time the FT penned an article on the topic of gold manipulation, titled "Gold price rigging fears put investors on alert" it was promptly taken down without much (any) of an explanation. Luckily, we recorded the article for posterity here. Earlier today, another article on the topic appears to have slipped through the cracks of the distinguished editors of the financial journal that enjoys the ad spend of the status quo, when it reported that "Gold pricing scrutiny widens", hardly an update that will take the world by storm, however it is notable that "even" the FT, where for years goldbugs claiming gold manipulation had been ridiculed, is finally start to admit the glaringly obvious.

March 14
UBS Discloses It Is Reviewing Its Precious Metals Business
LONDON — The Swiss bank UBS said on Friday that it was conducting an internal review of its precious metals business amid expanding regulatory investigations into potential manipulation of interest rates and the price of commodities and currencies. 

March 14
Gold Trades Near Six-Month High Before Crimea Referendum
Gold traded near the highest level in six months as escalating tensions in Ukraine, before a vote in Crimea on breaking away to join Russia, boosted demand for the precious metal as a store of value. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are meeting in London today to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have warned that the March 16 vote in Crimea has no international legitimacy. “Bullion is trading mostly on risk sentiment at the moment helped by a technically strong uptrend,” Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital Plc in London, wrote in a note today. “The ongoing uncertainty over Ukraine will be in focus today and on Monday with the Crimean succession referendum stealing headlines.” 

March 13
Gold Trades Near 6-Month High on Ukraine to China Concern
Gold traded near a six-month high in New York as investors weighed concern about tension between Ukraine and Russia and slowing Chinese economic growth against speculation prices climbed too fast. 

March 13
SA platinum sector is dead, long live the new platinum sector
The future of South Africa's platinum sector lies not in the deep-vein, shanty-town-lined mines of old but rather in the newer, shallower, more community-aware mines. 

March 11
Platinum ETF holdings hit record high
Platinum holdings in physically backed exchange-traded funds have hit a record high after fresh inflows into funds listed in London and Johannesburg, and are set to rise further as a strike in major producer South Africa grinds on. 

March 11
Was The Price Of Ukraine's "Liberation" The Handover Of Its Gold To The Fed?
A curious story, and one which should be taken with a mine of salt, has surfaced out of the pro-Russian newspaper Iskra, which reports - so far on an entirely unsubstantiated basis - that last Friday, in a mysterious operation under the cover of night, Ukraine's gold reserves were promptly loaded onboard an unmarked plane, which subsequently took the gold to the US. 

March 11
Chinese Gold Demand 418 Tonnes YTD, West Confused
Another week (24-02-2014/28-02-2014), another 49 mt of Chinese gold demand in the form of withdrawals from the Shanghai Gold Exchange vaults. Withdrawals year to date account for 418 mt. This brings February Chinese gold demand to 172 mt, down 30 % from an all-time 246 mt record in January. Let’s not talk about the COMEX. 

March 11
Gold Climbs Toward Four-Month High as Ukraine Spurs Haven Demand
Gold climbed toward a four-month high in New York as the standoff between Russia and Ukraine spurred demand for a haven. Silver advanced. Ukraine began military drills as Russian forces tightened their hold on the Crimean peninsula, where residents will have the choice of joining Russia in a March 16 referendum. Ukraine’s prime minister prepared to meet U.S. President Barack Obama and western nations threatened further repercussions if Russia failed to defuse tensions. 

March 10
What 10-Baggers (and 100-Baggers) Look Like
Now that it appears clear the bottom is in for gold, it’s time to stop fretting about how low prices will drop and how long the correction will last—and start looking at how high they’ll go and when they’ll get there. When viewing the gold market from a historical perspective, one thing that’s clear is that the junior mining stocks tend to fluctuate between extreme boom and bust cycles. As a group, they’ll double in price, then crash by 75%... then double or triple or even quadruple again, only to crash 90%. Boom, bust, repeat. 

March 6
Ukraine standoff dangerous for fragile global economy – positive for gold
Well Russia may not be going to invade Ukraine militarily, but may end up annexing Crimea by default despite the protests of a kicking and screaming West, not to mention the Ukraine transitional government. If this then leads to U.S. and EU economic and political sanctions being implemented against Russia then one doubts either side will come out without taking serious financial casualties. 

March 5
Scotiabank CEO Porter Says ‘Dated’ Gold Fix Needs Review
Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) Chief Executive Officer Brian Porter said the process for setting gold prices, known as the London gold fix, is outdated and should be reviewed. “The fix is dated, it has been around for a long period of time,” Porter said today in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “It should be reviewed and any degree of transparency we could bring to that would be healthy.” 

March 5
India Imported 6125 Tonnes Of Silver In 2013
Starting from August 2013 all Indian traders had to export 20 % of their gold imports. This was a measure designed by the government, on top of an import duty that was raised to raised to 10 %, to slow down gold import. Of course the only result from these measures was that official gold import dropped like a brick, premiums skyrocketed and Indian supply shifted to smuggling. In this next chart by Nick Laird we can see how the import duty pushed the premiums to 25 % in january. 

March 5
Barclays, Deutsche Bank Accused of Gold Fix Manipulation
Barclays Plc (BARC), Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) and three other banks were accused in a lawsuit of manipulating the London gold fix, a benchmark used throughout the $20 trillion market for the metal. Kevin Maher, a New York resident who says he bought and sold gold and gold futures and options, sued yesterday in Manhattan federal court claiming the five banks overseeing the century-old benchmark colluded to manipulate it. Maher’s complaint cites press reports, including a Bloomberg News story last week on a draft paper by two researchers showing what they said were unusual pricing patterns connected to the gold fix. The paper was the first study to raise the possibility that the banks, which also include Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) and Societe Generale SA (GLE), may have been actively working together to manipulate the benchmark. 

March 3
Hedge Funds Most Bullish on Gold Rally in 14 Months
Hedge funds raised bullish gold wagers to the highest in more than 14 months amid mounting concern that the U.S. economic recovery is weakening. The net-long position climbed 25 percent to 113,911 futures and options in the week ended Feb. 25, the highest since December 2012, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Net-bullish holdings across 18 U.S.-traded commodities advanced 16 percent to 1.45 million contracts, the most since April 2011. Coffee wagers reached a 33-month high. 

March 3
Platinum Stockpiles Dwindle as Strikers Dig In Over Pay Demands
Platinum stockpiles built to weather a strike at the world’s three largest producers of the metal may run out if a new round of talks to end a six-week pay strike at South African mines ends in deadlock. Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP) and Lonmin Plc (LMI) are today meeting with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union after first-round talks failed to end a stoppage over pay by more than 70,000 workers that started on Jan. 23. Producers have so far lost more than 6.6 billion rand ($613 million) in revenue because of the walkout, while wages forfeited exceed 2.9 billion rand, a joint website of the three companies showed today. 

February 28
Gold Fix Study Shows Signs of Decade of Bank Manipulation
The London gold fix, the benchmark used by miners, jewelers and central banks to value the metal, may have been manipulated for a decade by the banks setting it, researchers say. Unusual trading patterns around 3 p.m. in London, when the so-called afternoon fix is set on a private conference call between five of the biggest gold dealers, are a sign of collusive behavior and should be investigated, New York University’s Stern School of Business Professor Rosa Abrantes-Metz and Albert Metz, a managing director at Moody’s Investors Service, wrote in a draft research paper.

February 26
China’s January Hong Kong gold imports soar 326% year on year
Lies, damn lies and statistics!  Take the headline above and compare it with the Bloomberg headline for effectively the same story using exactly the same figures which was: China’s Gold Shipments From Hong Kong Decline as Demand Weakens. Both headlines are absolutely correct based on the figures but you wouldn’t believe so from reading them, indeed you could be forgiven for thinking one of them is obviously a downright lie. It just depends which way you care to spin it and some recent Bloomberg headlines do seem to have tended towards negativity with regard to Chinese gold imports. 

February 23
Gold price rigging fears put investors on alert
High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights.Global gold prices may have been manipulated on 50 per cent of occasions between January 2010 and December 2013, according to analysis by Fideres, a consultancy. The findings come amid a probe by German and UK regulators into alleged manipulation of the gold price, which is set twice a day by Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays, Bank of Nova Scotia and Société Générale in a process known as the “London gold fixing”.

February 21
Gold price: Hedge funds add 30% to bullish bets
The gold price ended Friday with a third week in a row of gains after bullish positions held by large investors soared again. By the close of regular trade on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery – the most active contract – hit $1,323.60 an ounce, up $6.70 from Thursday's close.

February 20
South Africa's AMCU union digs in on platinum strike
South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) vowed on Thursday to continue a strike against the world's top three platinum producers, a move its president described as a "fight for survival" by workers. AMCU's intention to dig in for the long haul dashes any hope for the stoppage to end soon. The strike, already a month old, has hit over 40 percent of global platinum production and dealt a blow to investor confidence in Africa's largest economy. 

February 20
Switzerland Sent 80% of Bullion Exports to Asia in January
Switzerland sent more than 80 percent of its gold and silver bullion and coin exports to Asia last month, the Swiss Federal Customs Administration said today in an e-mailed report. It imported most from the U.K. Hong Kong was the top destination at 44 percent on a value basis, with India at 14 percent, the Bern-based customs agency said in its first breakdown of the gold trade data since 1980. Singapore accounted for 8.6 percent of exports, the United Arab Emirates 7.9 percent and China 6.3 percent.

February 19
The big gold ETF turnaround and its prospective impact
2013 was a pretty disastrous year for the gold investor with the year’s gold price high point being reached right at the beginning of January, from where it was almost all downhill until the beginnings of a pick-up at the start of the current year. This happened despite Chinese demand at record levels and, if the latest World Gold Council’s figures are to be taken seriously, Indian demand at almost as high a level despite the draconian import taxes placed on precious metals to try and alleviate that country’s balance of payments (current account deficit) problems. All these figures are laid out in detailed tables in the World Gold Council’s latest Gold Demand Trends report (figures compiled by GFMS) covering Q4 2013 and the full year. 

February 18
Gold jewellery, bar and coin demand hit record levels in 2013 - WGC
While 880.8 tonnes of gold flowed out of exchange traded funds in 2013, according to the World Gold Council's Gold Demand Trends report for the fourth quarter and full year 2013, three quarters of these outflows were absorbed by consumer demand. This, the WGC says, marks the largest year-on-year increase in consumer demand for the yellow metal since its records began and justifies it calling 2013, the year of the consumer. But, it says, it also reflects a distinct polarisation in sentiment between those institutional funds selling out of ETFs and consumers buying jewellery, bars and coins. 

February 18
Silver Posts Longest Rally in 45 Years on Rising Haven Demand
Silver posted the longest rally in at least 45 years on demand for an investment alternative amid concerns that the global economy will falter. 

February 18
Hong Kong gold exchange eyes 1,500-t warehouse in mainland China
The Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society (CGSE), based in Hong Kong, aims to launch a physical bullion trading exchange and a 1,500-tonne depository in mainland China within the next year, its president said on Thursday. The century-old firm, which runs Hong Kong's only physical bullion trading exchange, is looking to tap the burgeoning demand for gold in China, which last year toppled India from its ranking as the world's top gold consumer.  

February 18
S.A. miners' strike to drive up platinum over time
A face-off between platinum producers and striking miners in South Africa has had negligible impact on metals prices so far, but that is likely to change if the action grinds on past the end of the month and stocks are drawn down. The strike by South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) against the world's top three platinum mining companies has so far failed to ruffle traders.

February 18
Silver Bullion Coin Sales Rose to Record High in 2013
Strong investment demand for silver drove global sales of one-ounce silver bullion coins to an all-time record high in 2013, while early indications suggest that investors’ interest in acquiring silver coins is healthy in the opening weeks of 2014. The U.S. Mint sold 42,675,000 American Eagle Silver Bullion coins in 2013; 26 percent more than the 33,700,000 coins sold in 2012, hitting a new single-year record for the most purchased since the U.S. Mint began producing the one-ounce silver coin in 1986. 

February 18
Gold jewellery, bar and coin demand hit record levels in 2013 - WGC
While 880.8 tonnes of gold flowed out of exchange traded funds in 2013, according to the World Gold Council's Gold Demand Trends report for the fourth quarter and full year 2013, three quarters of these outflows were absorbed by consumer demand. This, the WGC says, marks the largest year-on-year increase in consumer demand for the yellow metal since its records began and justifies it calling 2013, the year of the consumer. But, it says, it also reflects a distinct polarisation in sentiment between those institutional funds selling out of ETFs and consumers buying jewellery, bars and coins. 

February 18
Report: India’s gold demand up 13% at 975 tonnes in 2013
India’s gold demand remained buoyant in 2013 and rose by 13 per cent to 975 tonnes compared to 2012 despite the Government putting in several restrictions to curb imports, according to a World Gold Council report. Gold demand in the country was 864 tonnes during 2012, according to data given in the WGC ‘Gold Demand Trends 2013’ report. “India’s gold demand was up 13 per cent in 2013, compared to 2012. Demand in the second half was lower due to the effect of the supply curbs introduced in that period, but, equally, it was due to households having met a large part of their annual gold requirements in the first half, using the price drop in April as a buying opportunity,” WGC Managing Director India Somasundaram PR told PTI here. 

February 14
Gold Extends Rally Above $1,300 as Investors Boost Metal Holding
Gold headed for the biggest weekly advance since August as U.S. economic data that trailed estimates increased haven demand, with holdings in the biggest exchange-traded product expanding to an almost two-month high. Silver was set for the longest rally since March 2008. 

February 14
Gold races above $1,300; on track for best week in 6 months
LONDON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Spot gold hit three-month highs on Friday and looked set to post its biggest weekly gain in six months as more weak U.S. data raised fears about economic growth, hurting the dollar. Spot gold rose to its highest since Nov. 8 at $1,312.40 earlier in the session, and was up 0.8 percent to $1,311.90 an ounce by 1112 GMT. It is up around four percent for the week - the largest such gain since mid-August. 

February 13
Gold to scale new heights on strong technical picture
Gold appears to be regaining favor with investors, rallying 5 percent over the past two weeks, and gains look set to continue in the near term driven by a strong technical picture, according to ANZ. "Gold has managed to break through – and hold above – some key resistance levels over the past few weeks. A rally above $1,308 per ounce could target $1,365," Victor Thianpiriya, commodity strategist at ANZ, who sees gold rising to $1,450 by year-end, wrote in a report published on Friday. Gold held above $1,300 on Friday and looked set to post its biggest weekly gain since October as U.S. data raised concerns about the outlook for economic growth. 

February 12
Gold Trades Near Three-Month High as Investors Weigh Stimulus
Gold, which slid the most since 1981 last year as some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value, rebounded 7.3 percent this year amid a sell-off in emerging-market currencies and rising physical demand, even as the Fed continued cutting monthly bond buying. Bullion settled above its 100-day moving average the previous two days. Volumes for Shanghai’s benchmark spot gold contract fell for second day after reaching a nine-month high on Feb. 10 after a weeklong holiday ended. 

February 12
Financial Times: China’s 500-Tonne Gold Gap Fuels Talk of Stockpiling
SHANGHAI -- A 500-tonne gap in China's gold consumption data is fuelling talk that the central bank took advantage of weak prices last year to bulk up its holdings of the precious metal. 

February 12
Bundesbank Changes Gold Repatriation Schedule
One of the initiators of the German public campaign “Repatriate our Gold” is Peter Boehringer of “German Precious Metal Society” (est 2006). After lengthy efforts together with partner the “European Taxpayers Association”, the team finally, in January 2013, brought about Bundesbank´s decision to repatriate 300 tons of gold from the US and 374 tons from France by end-2020. Because asking your gold back from the US being quite sensitive, the repatriation would be spread over an eight year period. 

February 11
Is This Why Gold Prices Are Rising?
While there are numerous reasons why precious metals prices rise and fall - from supply, demand, manipulation, money-printing, and jawboning - it is abundantly clear that as prices drop, Asian demand has risen rather notably. But what is the reason? Why are Asian 'people' and central bankers - most notably China - buying gold now? We suspect the following chart from SocGen provides considerably color when answering that question historically (and more importantly - going forward). 

February 10
Gold Closes At 3-Month Highs; Best Asset Since Taper
Gold has risen 6 of the last 7 days, breaking back over $1,275 and closing at three-month highs as the last 3 days have seen stocks and precious metals bid. Silver is on a 7-day win streak holding above $20 for the last 3 days. Despite fading back from highs today, gold outperformed stocks and bonds (on a flat USD day) and gold remains the best-performing asset (+3.75%) from the December Taper. 

February 10
Gold Demand in China at Record as Bear Market Spurs Sales
Gold consumption and production in China expanded to records as prices that slumped into a bear market spurred sales of jewelry and bars, underlining a shift in global demand from west to east. Bullion increased.

February 10
China's gold demand tops 1,000 tonnes for first time
China's gold consumption jumped 41 percent in 2013 to exceed 1,000 tonnes for the first time, an industry body said on Monday, as a sharp slide in prices attracted buyers for jewellery and bullion. The demand surge has helped China become the No. 1 gold consumer and should support prices, which took a hit last year from expectations of a tapering of commodities-friendly economic stimulus by the U.S. Federal Reserve and a drop in demand in the other major buyer India. 

February 6
Bundesbank still fending off suspicions about gold vaulted in U.S.
FRANKFURT, Germany -- The 300 tons of gold that Germany is bringing home from a New York strongroom is being transported little by little and will take until 2020 to complete, the German central bank said Thursday. Emotions have regularly flared in Germany about why 45 per cent of the country's 3,391 tons of gold bars is stashed deep beneath the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Manhattan. The original reason was that West Germany earned it through trade surpluses in the 1950s and 1960s and never moved it out of the United States to ensure that it did not lose the lot in the event Germany was invaded by the Soviet Union. 

February 4
7 Reasons Why India Imports A Lot Of Silver 

February 4
JP Morgan Holds Highest Amount Of Physical Silver In History
While everyone is focused on the massive outflows in COMEX registered gold inventories and the gold ETF, GLD, it seems that an important evolution in silver is passing unnoticed. In what follows, Ted Butler, precious metals analyst specialized in COT analysis, reveals a remarkable insight in the physical silver market. Butler’s calculations show that JPMorgan (JPM) has piled up the largest holding of physical silver in modern world. Since the silver price peak in May 2011, the bank has accumulated between 100 and 200 million ounces of physical silver (if not more). The equivalent in metric tonnes is between 3,110 and 6,220 tonnes. 

February 3
Fractional reserve bullion banking and gold bank runs - the setup

February 3
Perth Mint's gold and silver sales rise in January
The Perth Mint's gold and silver sales climbed in January from the previous month as demand for coins and bars remained robust after a sharp drop in prices last year. The Perth Mint runs the only gold refinery in Australia, the world's second-biggest gold producer after China. 

February 3
Perth Mint to U.S. Post Higher January Gold Sales as Price Gains 
Australia’s Perth Mint, which refines most of the bullion from the world’s second-biggest producer, joined the U.S. in reporting gold demand climbed in January as prices capped the first monthly advance in five. Sales of coins and minted bars increased 10 percent to 64,818 ounces last month from 58,944 ounces in December, the mint said on its website today. The mint sold 912,388 ounces of silver compared with 845,941 ounces in December, it said.

January 31
Chinese Gold Rush Heating Up
In the trading week from January 20 – 24 physical gold withdrawn from the SGE vaults accounted for 57 tons, this is the third week in a row SGE withdrawals have been more than weekly global mine production. In the first 24 days of 2014 withdrawals from the SGE accounted for 216 tons. With one trading week left this month it’s very likely January 2014 will break the all time record of monthly withdrawals, surpassing the 236 tons from April 2013. Is this the height of the Chinese gold rush? 

January 30
Fed Has Fingers & Thumbs On The Scales Of Finance," Grant Tells Santelli And It "Will End Badly
In a mere 140 seconds, Jim Grant explains to an almost stunned into silence Rick Santelli how we all "live in a valuation hall of mirrors" as the Fed manipulates everything. Thanks to it's "fingers and thumbs on the scales of finance," Grant continues, the Fed "insists on saving us from 'everyday low prices'" - what they call deflation - and by doing so it manufactures "redundant credit" which "does mischief" in and out of markets. Grant, ominously concludes, "there is no suspense as to how [this will] end... [it will] end badly." 

January 29
World risks deflationary shock as BRICS puncture credit bubbles
Half the world economy is one accident away from a deflation trap. The International Monetary Fund says the probability may now be as high as 20pc. It is a remarkable state of affairs that the G2 monetary superpowers - the US and China - should both be tightening into such a 20pc risk, though no doubt they have concluded that asset bubbles are becoming an even bigger danger.

January 29
What The Hell Is Going On With The German Gold & Fort Knox

January 28
Platinum miners bet on eight-week stockpile to beat strike
The world’s biggest platinum producers have built stockpiles to last as long as eight weeks, helping them weather a strike that’s begun crippling their mines in South Africa, source of about 70 percent of global supplies. 

January 28
Gold Flows East as Bars Recast for Chinese Defying Slump
Gold’s biggest slump in three decades has been a boon for MKS (Switzerland) SA’s PAMP refinery near the Italian border in Castel San Pietro, whose bullion sales to China surged to a record as demand rose for coins, bars and jewelry. As prices plunged 28 percent in 2013, investors dumped a record 869.1 metric tons from gold-backed funds traded mostly in the U.S. and Europe. Much of that metal is ending up in Asia, where companies such as The Brink’s (BCO) Co., UBS AG and Deutsche Bank AG are opening new vaults. China’s expanding wealth has made the country the world’s largest buyer, surpassing India, as imports reached an all-time high.

January 28
China’s HK gold trade hits new annual record, but where’s it all coming from?
Blaring headlines earlier today from Bloomberg and Reuters announced that Chinese gold imports through Hong Kong reached a new record in 2014. Readers of Mineweb will hardly be surprised at that – indeed they will be aware that gold imports by this route had already achieved a record total a couple of months ago! But it’s nice, at least, to have the full year’s figures confirmed, even though the two agencies disagree a little on actual figures!

January 27
China’s Gold Imports From Hong Kong Climb to Record
Gold shipments to China from Hong Kong rose to a record in 2013 as bullion’s slump attracted buyers in the world’s second-largest economy. Purchases that climbed by 51 percent in December before the Lunar New Year holiday starting Jan. 31 took net imports for the year to 1,108.8 metric tons, a 33 percent gain from 2012, according to calculations by Bloomberg News based on data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department. The net figure deducts flows from China into Hong Kong. 

January 27
South Africa platinum talks remain deadlocked
Government-brokered talks between South Africa's AMCU union and the world's top three platinum producers ended on Monday with no breakthrough in efforts to end a strike that has hit half of global output of the precious metal. "They want to sleep on our demands, we are confident that progress will happen tomorrow," Jimmy Gama, the main negotiator for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction (AMCU), told reporters after the talks ended at a Pretoria hotel. 

January 26
Palladium prices to go up for automakers
Categorised as a precious metal, palladium is part of what are popularly referred to as Platinum Group Metals (PGM) with increasing industrial application, mainly in auto-catalysts (for automobiles), electrical, dental and chemical industries. Jewellery sector demand is limited. Auto-catalysts for cars that run on gasoline require a higher content of palladium (unlike diesel cars that need more platinum for auto-catalyst), and majority of cars sold in the US and major developing countries such as China and India run on gasoline. 

January 24
Gold Mint Runs Overtime in Race to Meet World Coin Demand
Austria’s mint is running 24 hours a day to meet orders for gold coins, joining counterparts from the U.S. to the U.K. to Australia in reporting accelerating demand boosted by the bear market in bullion. 

January 24
Global mined gold output rose 4% in 2013
Contrary to many reports and arguments put forward by gold commentators, the latest analysis by Thomson Reuters GFMS shows global new mined gold output as rising in 2013 – to 2,982 tonnes – an increase of around 4% on the 2012 figure. As the GFMS report suggests this tends to show the gold mining sector’s short term inelasticity to the sharp fall in the gold price. 

January 22
Unrealistic demands threaten companies, employees and country – Platinum bosses
Bosses of the world's top three platinum producers accused South Africa's AMCU union of making "unaffordable and unrealistic" demands on Tuesday ahead of a strike this week which could hit over half of global output of the precious metal. The chief executives of Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin made the dramatic warning as signs of some divisions emerged in the hardline Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which has called the stoppage for Thursday.  

January 22
Abenomics Spurs Gold Sales in Japan as Inflation Hedge
Gold sales by Japan’s biggest bullion retailer surged 63 percent to a five-year high as prices slumped and investors sought refuge from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s campaign to stoke inflation and weaken the yen. Sales of bars to local investors by Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. soared to 37.3 metric tons in 2013, from 22.9 tons a year earlier, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement today. Sales exceeded purchases for the first time since 2004. 

January 21
Century-Old London Gold Benchmark Fix Said to Face Overhaul
Banks are considering an overhaul of London’s century-old gold benchmark used by miners, jewelers and central banks to buy, sell and value the precious metal, according to a person with knowledge of the process. 

January 21
Gold Trades Near Five-Week High as Platinum Climbs on Stoppages
Gold traded near a five-week high in London as investors weighed signs of increasing physical demand against the outlook for less U.S. stimulus. Platinum rose to the highest since November on prospects for strikes in South Africa. 

January 19
Germany Has Recovered A Paltry 5 Tons Of Gold From The NY Fed After One Year
On December 24, we posted an update on Germany's gold repatriation process: a year after the Bundesbank announced its stunning decision, driven by Zero Hedge revelations, to repatriate 674 tons of gold from the New York Fed and the French Central Bank, it had managed to transfer a paltry 37 tons. This amount represents just 5% of the stated target, and was well below the 84 tons that the Bundesbank would need to transport each year to collect the 674 tons ratably over the 8 year interval between 2013 and 2020. The release of these numbers promptly angered Germans, and led to the rise of numerous allegations that the reason why the transfer is taking so long is that the gold simply is not in the possession of the offshore custodians, having been leased, or worse, sold without any formal or informal announcement. However, what will certainly not help mute "conspiracy theorists" is today's update from today's edition of Die Welt, in which we learn that only a tiny 5 tons of gold were sent from the NY Fed. The rest came from Paris. 

January 19
China Expected To Announce It Has More Than Doubled Its Gold Reserves
The topic of China's below the radar accumulation of gold is nothing new: first revealed here in September 2011 as part of a Wikileaks intercept, watchers of Chinese gold imports have been stunned by the ravenous pace with which Chinese customers have been gobbling up both domestic and foreign gold production month after month. One needs merely to glance at the net imports of gold just through Hong Kong to get a sense of just how much gold has flowed into the country which has now surpassed India as the largest buyer of gold. 

January 17
Buy physical gold and avoid paper: CME Trader
Gold recovered slightly on Friday, but suffered its first weekly drop in a month after a mixed bag of U.S. economic data. With spot gold trading near $1,240 US, veteran trader Tres Knippa says investors should consider accumulating physical gold to take advantage of a delivery squeeze. Pointing to recent Comex futures data, Knippa says there may not be enough gold to go around if everyone with a futures contract insists on taking delivery of physical bullion. He believes gold shot through $1,900 in 2011 before plunging last year because of an explosion in the amount of gold futures contracts – setting up separate markets for “real” and “paper” gold. 

January 17
Metals, Currency Rigging Is Worse Than Libor, Bafin Says
Germany’s top financial regulator said possible manipulation of currency rates and prices for precious metals is worse than the Libor-rigging scandal, which has already led to fines of about $6 billion. 

January 17
Eric Sprott discusses key drivers and opportunities setting up for precious metal equities as Gold and Silver to make a drive higher
Eric Sprott, Chief Executive Officer and Senior Portfolio Manager, of Sprott Asset Management and recent recipient of the Order of Canada provides valuable insight in an interview with Mining MarketWatch Journal, shedding light on various issues including physical supply imbalances, paper market distortions, macro economic fundamentals, and global demand forces in play that will be key drivers in 2014. 

January 13
Goldcorp launches $2.6-billion hostile bid for Osisko Mining
Goldcorp Inc. has launched a $2.6-billion unsolicited takeover offer for Osisko Mining Corp. The proposed deal is in the form of 0.146 of a Goldcorp share plus $2.26 in cash for each Osisko common share, for a total value of $5.95 per share, Goldcorp said in a news release Monday. Vancouver-based Goldcorp says the proposed transaction offers a 15 per cent premium over Quebec-based Osisko’s latest closing share price. 

January 9
Demand For Platinum and Palladium Will Continue To Rise In 2014
The vast majority of demand for both platinum and palladium is for industrial purposes, especially for catalytic converters in the automobile industry. These precious metals are crucial for the production of vehicles, and demand in this sector continues to rise. 

January 8
23 Reasons to Be Bullish on Gold
It's been one of the worst years for gold in a generation. A flood of outflows from gold ETFs, endless tax increases on gold imports in India, and the mirage (albeit a convincing one in the eyes of many) of a supposedly improving economy in the US have all contributed to the constant hammering gold took in 2013. Perhaps worse has been the onslaught of negative press our favorite metal has suffered. It's felt overwhelming at times and has pushed even some die-hard goldbugs to question their beliefs… not a bad thing, by the way. To me, a lot of it felt like piling on, especially as the negative rhetoric ratcheted up. Last year's winner was probably Goldman Sachs, calling gold a "slam-dunk sale" for 2014 (this, of course, after it's already fallen by nearly a third over a period of more than two and a half years—how daring they are). This is why it's important to balance the one-sided message typically heard in the mainstream media with other views. Here are some of those contrarian voices, all of which have put their money where their mouth is… 

January 8
Gold Mining Deals Seen Rebounding on Price Discount
Investment bankers see gold-mining deals rebounding this year from a near-decade low as producers target assets at fire-sale prices after the metal plunged. Gold-mining companies are close to their cheapest relative to book value in at least two decades, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Meanwhile producers will be enticed to replace some of the output lost when they sold or curtailed less-profitable mines, said Barclays Plc’s Paul Knight. “Majors who have done portfolio optimization will look at some of the juniors and say, ‘Here’s a chance for us to acquire a potentially better asset than we’ve sold and to mitigate the loss of production,’” Knight, a Barclays vice chairman and co-head of global metals and mining, said Jan. 6 by telephone. 

January 8
U.K. Royal Mint Runs Out of Sovereign Gold Coins on Demand
The U.K.’s Royal Mint, which traces its history back more than 1,000 years, ran out of 2014 Sovereign gold coins as prices near a six-month low led to “exceptional demand.” The mint, based in Llantrisant, Wales, expects to have stocks of the coins again by the end of January, it said in a statement e-mailed today. It has full availability of gold and silver Britannia bullion coins, it said. Gold dropped to a six-month low of $1,182.27 an ounce in London on Dec. 31, capping the largest annual decline since 1981. 

January 7
India May Keep Gold-Import Curbs Past March to Contain Deficit
India should retain curbs on gold imports at least until March to stabilize the current-account deficit that weakened the rupee to a record low last year, Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram said. The government needs to keep the deficit low and should not tamper with the restrictions on gold shipments until at least the end of the fiscal year on March 31, Mayaram told the Press Trust of India. D.S. Malik, a finance ministry spokesman in New Delhi, confirmed the comments to Bloomberg News today. 

December 18
State buying may explain China's gold import surge
"The total amount of gold being consumed in China is a gigantic quantum and you have to wonder where that gold is going," he said in an interview with the Financial Times. "Is it going on to wrists, ears and necks or is it going into state reserves?" If there was "clarity" on imports, Mr Hambro said it could provide a prop for the gold price, which has fallen sharply this year. "I think we will need some clarity and that will really set the tone for gold in China in 2014," he said. "If it does start to show that some of it has gone into state hands that will be very supportive for the gold market." "We can expect Chinese gold reserves will at some future point be announced at a much higher level than the 1,054 tonne-level they have apparently maintained for some years now," Philip Klapwijk, managing director of Precious Metals Insight, Hong-Kong based consultancy, told investors at the London Bullion Market Association's annual gold conference earlier this year. Including local mine production and recycling of scrapped gold, Macquarie estimates total gold supply into China this year could reach
1,800 tonnes.

Source: Financial Times 

December 18
Central Bank of Venezuela to buy country's entire gold production
The Central Bank of Venezuela is teaming up with Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the state-owned oil company, in a bid to "regularise" the production, sales and purchases of gold in the country, Venezuela's vice-president and economy minister, Rafael Ramírez, said on Monday.The central bank will purchase all the gold mined in the country in a bid by to curb smuggling, according to Caracas-based El Universal.In a statement on its website, PDVSA said it will have a majority stake in the $40 billion venture, and has been "awarded protection rights" on more than 92 billion ounces of golden ore through the Venezuelan Mining Corporation. 

Source: centralbanking.com

December 18
RBI against removing curbs on gold imports for now
The RBI is not in favour of removing import curbs on gold at this point of time, though in the longer term it would like to eliminate them, the central bank Governor Raghuram Rajan said on Wednesday."I don't think it is right to say the RBI is in favour of removing gold restrictions at this point. I think the point which we have been making and which I will make again is gold restrictions are a distortion and they are a necessary distortion to provide balance to the current account deficit," he told analysts after the review of the mid-quarter monetary policy."Going forward, we would not like this distortion to persist and we would like to remove it. When we do so in conversation with the Government and what form and how we unwind these restrictions is something we will have to deliberate over time. At this time it would be premature to withdraw these restrictions for a variety of reasons," he said.Once the current account deficit stabilises, the RBI will consider "unwinding some of these distortionary actions", he said. The comment left the industry and gold jewellers disappointed. 

December 17
Record U.S. Gold Bullion Exports Head to Hong Kong & Switzerland
As the Fed continues with its Quantitative Easing policy, U.S. gold bullion exports hit a new record in the first nine months of 2013. While it's no secret to anyone in the precious metal community, the majority of U.S. gold exports found their way to Hong Kong and Switzerland.Not only have gold bullion exports hit new records during Jan-Sept, they have already surpassed the total for 2012. If we look at the chart below, we can clearly see who has received most of the gold. In the first nine months of 2013, Hong Kong received 176.3 mt (metric tons), Switzerland 130.9 mt and the United Kingdom 26 mt. Of the 416 mt of U.S. gold bullion exports Jan-Sept, these three countries received 342 mt or 82% of the total.Why is this such a big deal? Because in the first nine months of 2012, total U.S. gold bullion exports were only 283 mt compared to the 416 mt so far this year. Which means the United States has exported 47% more gold bullion at an additional 133 mt compared to the same period last year.Furthermore, total U.S. gold bullion exports in 2012 were only 371 mt compared to the 416 mt in the first nine months of 2013.As the price of gold started to decline in March of this year, including the huge take-down in April, U.S. gold bullion exports picked up significantly:The number of gold bullion exports increased from 40.1 mt in Jan to 62.1 mt in April. Then we can see they fell in May (38.1 mt) and June (40.7 mt) as the gold buyers were waiting to see if prices would stop falling. And in June, the price of gold finally bottomed right below $1,200 level.  

December 16
World Mints Sees Unprecedented Demand For Silver Coins In 2013
The sharp drop in the price of gold and silver in early 2013 unleashed a wave of pent up demand, which was clearly seen in the sale of silver coins. The U.S. Mint, Royal Canadian Mint and the Perth Mint all reported extremely high sales of their silver coins. The U.S. Mint hit its new sales record in mid-November when it reported sales of 40.175 million, surpassing the previous record set in 2011, when it sold 39.869 million coins.The U.S. Mint saw average monthly sales of 3.5 million coins. The busiest month was January, with 7.498 million one-ounce coins sold, and November was the slowest month, with 2.3 million coins sold. For December, the Mint has reported sales of 1.2 million coins as of Dec. 16.The Perth Mint comes in second place, selling 7.799 million ounces of silver in 2013, as of November.Perth’s busiest month was in April when the Mint sold 1.113 million ounces. April was also when silver prices fell 21% from a high of $27.965 an ounce on April 10 a low of $22.000 six days later.The Perth Mint’s monthly sales average about 708,000 ounces; March was the slowest month with sales of 408,000 ounces.The Perth Mint still plans to break ground on a new silver blank production facility and the new facility is expected to be operational by 2015. The Canadian Royal Mint comes in third place only because its full sales figures aren’t available. When contacted by Kitco News, the Canadian Mint said its sales figures are only reported in its quarter reports.For the third quarter, endingSept. 28, the Canadian Mint reported silver sales of 6.7 million ounces in its Silver Maple Leaf coins, an increase compared to 2012’s third quarter sales of 4.8 million ounces.In its financial report, the Mint said they were expecting record silver coin sales for the entire year. 

December 15
Is The Perfect Storm Coming For Gold?
Due to western central bank price manipulation, the mining sector is in critical condition, the supply line is all but halted, and the physical supply is being swallowed up by Asia. The last shoe to drop is for major mining companies to start closing down production at major mines. Though this would be perceived as the end for gold, speculators will be happy to know that this would be the beginning of the biggest Fed induced bubble in history! But unlike previous Fed bubbles where they support the price increase, the gold bubble will be a result of western central planners mis-managing the gold price for the past 3 decades and finally losing control. As Peak Resources explains in the brief clip, the perfect storm is coming for gold... 

December 13
Contrarian Gold Stocks 3
And totally fundamentally absurd! The HUI hit 193 last week, a level last seen in November 2008 in the dark heart of the stock panic. Yet back then, gold was merely trading near $745. Last week it was 65% higher near $1226! Is it rational for gold stocks to trade as if gold was nearly $500 lower? Of course not, it is just ridiculous. Investors are absolutely wrong in abandoning gold stocks to such silly valuations. That’s not the half of it either. The first time the HUI hit its past week’s lows was over a decade ago in August 2003. Back then gold was merely $373. With gold over three times as high today, it makes zero sense at all for gold stocks to be trading at those same levels. They are a total anomaly driven by extreme sentiment, irrational fear beyond stock-panic-grade. That isn’t sustainable and will soon pass, just like in late 2008. Let’s zoom into these post-panic years in this next chart. It is similar to the first one with the exception of the yellow line. That shows where the HUI would be trading at if it returned to its pre-panic average HGR of 0.511x. Looking at the actual HUI levels (red) compared to that hypothetical line (yellow) offers another way to quantify just how epically unpopular gold stocks have become. This can’t and won’t last forever. If gold stays at $1250, and the HGR merely mean reverts to its pre-2013 post-panic average of 0.346x, the HUI would have to soar 119% higher from today’s dismal levels! No matter what, the gold stocks are due to more than double in the coming year. With the general stock markets near nominal record highs, can you think of any other sector that should still double at an absolute minimum? No, there aren’t any others. 

December 11
Rick Rule on CNBC

December 10
Silver Eagle Sales Shatter Record At 42.4 Million Oz In 2013!
USMintThe US Mint shut down production of 2013 Silver Eagles today as SilverDoctors’ readers are likely aware, but the 3 weeks early end to 2013 production failed to prevent an all-time sales record for the popular bullion coin.Coming in at 42,401,000 oz, the Mint bested the previous annual sales record of 39.8 million oz set in 2011 by over 2.5 million oz, even with production shut down after only 926,000 oz were sold in December.With nearly all of December’s sales pushed into 2014, don’t be surprised to see a new all-time monthly record set in January, as we project 6-8 million ASEs will be reported sold in January. 

December 9
Speculators boost gold shorts near 7-1/2 year high -CFTC
Hedge funds and money managers raised their bearish bets in U.S. gold futures and options close to a 7-1/2 year high, data by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Friday, a sign that short covering could boost bullion prices, analysts said. In the week up to Dec. 3, the U.S. derivatives regulator said speculators cut their bullish bets in gold, and they turned silver into a net short position for the first time since late June. In addition, they trimmed their net shorts in the copper market.

December 6
Secret Russian Palladium Stockpiles Dwindle & May Disappear In Near Future, Supporting Price
Sales of palladium stockpiles secretively held by the Russian government could end by 2014 according to top Russian precious and base metals miner Norilsk Nickel (MCX:GMKN). That supply pressure is bullish for palladium prices, which many analysts expect to rise next year thanks to a robust U.S. and China automobile market. The Russian finance ministry used to deliver as much as 2 million ounces of palladium onto the market annually, according to a Norilsk Nickel presentation at a recent precious metals conference. 

December 6
Rick Rule on CNBC - Why are capital markets for junior miners so gloomy? 

December 6
Norilsk sees palladium shortage as early as next year
Strong demand from the auto sector and an unpredictable supply from above-ground stocks suggest a physical shortage could take place in the palladium market as early as next year, an executive at the Russia's Norilsk Nickel said on Thursday. Anton Berlin, Norilsk's head of strategic marketing, also said a possible ban on metal shipments by Indonesia government could significantly reduce an oversupply of nickel, but the metal's price may not receive a boost until huge stockpiles are sold. London Metal Exchange nickel stocks are record high above 250,000 tonnes. 

December 5
Bull market or bear market – where does gold stand now?
Is gold still in a bull market or a bear market? Opinions differ but in reality the answer to both questions could well be yes. It all depends where you start from! Over 12 years gold has risen from $250 to around $1,230 at the time of writing – definitely a bull market then? Over the past two and a bit years gold has fallen from around $1,900 to $1,220. That looks as though it may be a bear market then? Well yes – or is this just a major correction in a secular bull market? To an extent it depends on whether you are a gold bull or a gold bear as to which viewpoint you take. 

December 5
The Complete And Unabridged History Of Gold Manipulation
On November 1st, 1961, an agreement was reached between the central banks of the United States and seven European countries to cooperate in achieving a shared, and very clearly stated, aim. The agreement became known as the London Gold Pool, and it had a very explicit purpose: to keep the price of gold suppressed “under control” and pegged regulated at $35/oz. through interventions in the London gold market whenever the price got to be a little... frisky. The construct was a simple one. The eight central banks would all chip in an amount of gold to the initial “kitty.” Then they would sell enough of the pooled gold to cap any price rises and then replace that which they had been forced to sell on any subsequent weakness. 

December 5
China 2013 gold supply shortfall seen at 700 tonnes
SHANGHAI: China's gold supply shortfall is expected to reach 700-800 tonnes this year due to strong physical demand, an official with the World Gold Council (WGC) said on Thursday. "In addition to domestic production of over 400 tonnes, the total consumption (in China) is seen to exceed 1,000 tonnes this year," Zheng Lianghao, managing director of the WGC's Far East division told a conference in Shanghai.  

December 5
500 kg of gold smuggled into India every day
The hike in import duty on gold has led to a spurt in smuggling of gold into the country from neighbouring states like Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. The latest provisional data showing a massive shrinkage in the current account deficit (CAD) for July through September has only raised more eyebrows among the sleuths monitoring the activity with limited resources. 

December 3
Gold price falls below the cost of digging it out of the ground
For the second time in 2013 the gold price has dropped below the cost of getting it out of the ground. From the updated GFMS 2013 Gold Survey we can see that the average cost of production is around $1250:All-in costs, a proprietary cost metric designed to reflect the full marginal cost of mine production, and which includes ongoing ('stay in business') capital costs, indirect costs and corporate overheads, is estimated to have risen to $1,250/oz in the first half of 2013. This has been particularly affected by a considerable amount of company write-downs following the decline in spot gold price during the period.Also note this was calculated at the end of Q1 when the price of gold was a couple of hundred dollars higher than it is now - meaning that those company write-downs mentioned above would have put more pressure on their cost of production. And with gold falling to a new five-month low of $1217 it means that gold miners are once again looking at losing money on each ounce they dig out of the ground. 

December 3
Silver imports surge 40% in Oct, hit 3-month high
Silver imports rose to a three-month peak in October and are on track to hit a record this year, data from Thomson Reuters GFMS showed, as buyers opt for the precious metal instead of expensive gold to meet high seasonal demand. More shipments by the world's top buyer may help underpin global silver prices that have slumped 37% so far this year - their biggest annual drop in at least three decades. 

November 30
Gold Output in Australia Expands in Third Quarter on Ore Grades
Gold output in Australia, the world’s second-biggest producer, expanded for a second quarter in the period ended September because of higher ore grades, according to mining consultant Surbiton Associates Pty. Production was 69.5 metric tons compared with 67 tons in the previous three months, Melbourne-based Surbiton said in a statement. Output was 62 tons in the same period a year earlier, it said. Gold climbed 7.6 percent in the third quarter, the first such gain in a year, after a slump into a bear market in April spurred sales of coins, jewelry and bars. Bullion tumbled 26 percent this year amid speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will scale back monthly bond buying that helped prices cap a 12-year bull run in 2012. “The higher production was due to the treatment of higher ore grades and this, in turn, reduced cash costs,” said Sandra Close, a director at Surbiton. “This is precisely what we expected, given the decline in gold prices in April and the lack of a significant recovery since then.” 

November 29
State Dept. minutes confirm that whoever has the most gold makes the rules
Secretary Kissinger asks the meeting: "Why is it against our interest to have gold in the system?"He is answered by his assistant undersecretary of state for economic and business affairs, Thomas O. Enders.The minutes, found by Jansen in the State Department archives in Volume 31 of "Foreign Relations of the United States, 1973-76," record Kissinger's exchange with Enders this way: Mr. Enders: It's against our interest to have gold in the system because for it to remain there it would result in it being evaluated periodically. Although we have still some substantial gold holdings -- about $11 billion - - a larger part of the official gold in the world is concentrated in Western Europe. This gives them the dominant position in world reserves and the dominant means of creating reserves. We've been trying to get away from that into a system in which we can control ... Secretary Kissinger: But that's a balance-of-payments problem. Mr. Enders: Yes, but it's a question of who has the most leverage internationally. If they have the reserve-creating instrument, by having the largest amount of gold and the ability to change its price periodically, they have a position relative to ours of considerable power. For a long time we had a position relative to theirs of considerable power because we could change gold almost at will. This is no longer possible -- no longer acceptable. Therefore, we have gone to Special Drawing Rights, which is also equitable and could take account of some of the less- developed-country interests and which spreads the power away from Europe. And it's more rational in ... Secretary Kissinger: "More rational" being defined as being more in our interests or what? Mr. Enders: More rational in the sense of more responsive to worldwide needs -- but also more in our interest  

November 28
China's Platinum imports rise 61% y/y to 248.7 Koz in October
China's Platinum imports rose by 61% year-on-year to 248.7 kilo ounce in October this year but fell by 27% as compare to previous month. According to Barclays, platinum imports have remained above the 200koz mark since March and even though imports into Hong Kong has eased modestly combined imports over the first three months of the year are up 9% y/y while imports into China alone are up by 15% y/y for the year to October. 

November 27
China Gold Imports From Hong Kong Rise on Stockpiling
Gold shipments to China from Hong Kong rose in October to the second-highest on record as jewelers and retailers bought the metal to build up inventories ahead of a peak-demand season at the end of the year. Net imports, after deducting flows from China into Hong Kong, were 129.9 metric tons in October, from 109.4 tons in September, according to calculations by Bloomberg based on data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department. Purchases reached an all-time high of 130 tons in March, with the amount in the first 10 months of 2013 more than doubling to 955.9 tons from a year earlier, the data show. 

November 26
Margin Debt Soars To New Record; Investor Net Worth Hits Record Low
The correlation between stock prices and margin debt continues to rise (to new records of exuberant "Fed's got our backs" hope) as NYSE member margin balances surge to new record highs. Relative to the NYSE Composite, this is the most "leveraged' investors have been since the absolute peak in Feb 2000. What is more worrisome, or perhaps not, is the ongoing collapse in investor net worth - defined as total free credit in margin accounts less total margin debt - which has hit what appears to be all-time lows (i.e. there's less left than ever before) which as we noted previously raised a "red flag" with Deutsche Bank. Relative to the 'economy' margin debt has only been higher at the very peak in 2000 and 2007 and was never sustained at this level for more than 2 months.  

November 26
Best gold issues may start to melt up rather than down - Rule
The normally robust crowd of retail and institutional investors was so sparse Monday at the Metals & Minerals Conference in San Francisco, long-time conference speaker, Sprott Asset Management President Rick Rule, joked that he saw more people in the men's room in the 1996 conference than encompassed the entire audience of attendees this year. 

November 26
Gold Fix Drawing Scrutiny Amid Knowledge Tied to Eruption
Every business day in London, five banks meet to set the price of gold in a ritual that dates back to 1919. Now, dealers and economists say knowledge gleaned on those calls could give some traders an unfair advantage when buying and selling the precious metal. The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is scrutinizing how prices are set in the $20 trillion gold market, according to a person with knowledge of the review who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. The London fix, the benchmark rate used by mining companies, jewelers and central banks to buy, sell and value the metal, is published twice daily after a telephone call involving Barclays Plc (BARC), Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) and Societe Generale SA. (GLE) 

November 26
The Vietnamese central bank eyes up buying gold on this price dip to increase currency reserves – but DON’T call gold money
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) is going to buy bullion gold to increase the foreign currency reserves as it foresees the downward trend in the gold price in the next six months or one year.So a largeish national central bank can openly say it is buying gold in order to "increase its foreign currency reserves" and yet we're still expected to swallow the Western nonsense that gold is not money - it seems the East takes absolutely no notice of this 'barbarous relic' rhetoric. 

November 25
Janet Yellen's 2014 Nightmare; "Cornering" the Treasury Market Talk about creating moral hazard.  
The Fed has cornered almost 40% of all Treasuries over 5 years in maturity. I've just discovered the killer aspect line from Quantitative Easing. The Fed's 4 years of QE, QE1, QE2, and QE3 has accumulated  36% of all Treasury securities between  5 years  and 10 years in maturity plus 40% of those government bonds over 10 years in maturity as well as  25% of all the mortgage backed securities not owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac . Just how do you suppose Chairman Yellen will devise an exit strategy to this concentrated ownership that makes up some $3 trillion of the central bank's $4 trillion balance sheet?

November 25
Hitch a Ride on This Supply Crunch
Can you name a commodity that's currently in a supply deficit-in other words, production and scrap material can't keep up with demand? How about two?If you find that difficult to answer, it's because there aren't very many.When you do find one, you might be on to a good investment-after all, if demand persists for that commodity, there's only one way for the price to go. 

November 21
Zimbabwe to go ahead with platinum exports ban
JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe, the world's number three platinum producer, is determined to ban exports of raw platinum and to force firms to refine locally, the new mines minister told AFP Thursday. "We are determined to ensure that a refinery is put up in Zimbabwe," minister Walter Chidakwa said, speaking during a visit to Johannesburg. "Once you put up a refinery, surely we must put a law that says we do not want our platinum to be exported as raw," he added. "We want our minerals value-added." Cash-strapped Zimbabwe is increasingly looking to the mining sector to help solve its liquidity shortage, which economists say has worsened since the July elections won by veteran leader Robert Mugabe.

November 20
Gold pours into China to meet record demand, bypasses Hong Kong
Nov 20 (Reuters) - China, set to pass India this year as the world's top gold consumer, has imported nearly a fifth more bullion than data from its traditional conduit Hong Kong shows as it brings in the metal via other routes. Gold shipped from Hong Kong to the mainland, used as a proxy for Chinese demand as bullion imports are a state secret, nearly tripled to 855 tonnes in the year to September. But a surge in China's gold purchases as prices slumped by a quarter this year has also seen at least 133 tonnes shipped directly, according to Reuters calculations based on data from Global Trade Information Services (GTIS). That figure could be even higher as it does not include central bank purchases. 

November 20
Gold Benchmarks Said to Be Reviewed in U.K. Rates Probe
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is reviewing gold benchmarks as part of its wider probe of how global rates are set, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The FCA review is preliminary and hasn’t risen to the level of a formal investigation, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. The person declined to say which gold benchmarks were under scrutiny.

November 15
Silver coin supplies buckle on fever-pitch retail buys
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Silver prices have dropped more than 30% year to date and demand for the physical metal has reached a fever pitch: United States Mint sales of the American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins have already hit a record this year. But as supplies of the coin tighten, analysts and bullion dealers said there are still many options for those interested in buying silver. Many predicted all along that sales of those coins would reach a record this year — and they expect the metal’s popularity to continue to grow.

November 14
Asian Central Banker’s Shocking Confession About The West

November 14
India Gold Premium Hits Record 21.6%
With India's 10% gold import duty on top of other capital controls, the price one has to pay for gold in India has reached a record spread of 21.6% vs. what one has to pay in countries where there are no such controls or import duties.

November 14
WGC: China Already Tops Record For Full-Year Gold Demand
Gold demand in China remained robust in the third quarter, with the country already topping its previous full-year record for gold buying, the World Gold Council reported Thursday. The country was the world’s top consumer in the July-September period and is on pace to replace India as the leading buyer for the full year. Indian demand was also up for the year through September, but was hurt in the third quarter by government efforts to restrict imports in an effort to battle a large current-account deficit.

Andrew Huszar: Confessions of a Quantitative Easer I can only say: I'm sorry, America.
As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed's first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I've come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time. Five years ago this month, on Black Friday, the Fed launched an unprecedented shopping spree. By that point in the financial crisis, Congress had already passed legislation, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, to halt the U.S. banking system's free fall. Beyond Wall Street, though, the economic pain was still soaring. In the last three months of 2008 alone, almost two million Americans would lose their jobs. Even when acknowledging QE's shortcomings, Chairman Bernanke argues that some action by the Fed is better than none (a position that his likely successor, Fed Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen, also embraces). The implication is that the Fed is dutifully compensating for the rest of Washington's dysfunction. But the Fed is at the center of that dysfunction. Case in point: It has allowed QE to become Wall Street's new "too big to fail" policy.  
Source: Wall Street Journal

November 13
Plan to raid bank creditors could shatter Europe's calm
BRUSSELS, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Market euphoria and soaring demand for European bank debt could be brought back down to earth if the European Union pushes ahead with the early introduction of rules allowing Cyprus-style raids on bank creditors and big depositors Following demands from Germany, the European Union law to raid the bondholders and savers of failing banks could take effect as soon as January 2015, three years earlier than planned and in time to hit banks exposed by European Central Bank tests next year.

November 13
U.S. Mint’s Silver-Coin Sales Reach Annual Record
Sales of American Eagle silver coins by the U.S. Mint since the start of the year surpassed the annual record as the futures market rallied from the lowest in 34 months. Sales reached almost 40.2 million ounces, the mint said yesterday in an e-mail. Authorized purchasers bought the full weekly allocation of 500,000 coins, boosting the total this year above the previous all-time high of almost 39.9 million ounces in 2011, it said.

November 12
Platinum set for biggest deficit since 1999 -Johnson Matthey
LONDON, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Strong investment and industrial demand will push the platinum market in 2013 into its biggest deficit for 14 years, refiner Johnson Matthey said on Tuesday. The platinum market is expected to show a shortfall of 605,000 ounces this year from 340,000 ounces last year, it said in its Platinum 2013 Interim Review.

November 9
Weekly COMEX Gold Inventories: Registered Gold Hits A New Low At Under 20 Total Tonnes
Last week was a fairly quiet week at the COMEX gold warehouses, with registered gold inventories hitting a new low. This week saw a bit more action in the warehouses, with a net gain in gold inventories for the week, but registered gold stocks hit a new all-time low at a little under 639,000 ounces.

November 9
Mugabe Threatens to Halt Raw Platinum Exports to South Africa
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is threatening to halt exports of raw platinum to South Africa unless three producers set up a refining plant in the country. “Let us close our doors immediately and say no raw platinum will go to South Africa,” the state-controlled Herald newspaper cited Mugabe as saying to members of his ruling party at an address in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare.

November 8
Indian gold imports slide, but exports jump
Early signs are coming in that India could slip from its position as the world's largest consumer of gold. A senior official of the Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC) has noted that gold imports are likely to decline by 41% to 500 tonnes this financial year, on account of the curbs imposed by the government.

November 6
Platinum Giants Ready to Stare Down Union Over Pay Demand
Rising costs and falling prices may prompt South Africa’s largest platinum mines to stare down a union threat to halt 70 percent of global production over pay demands, pushing the industry toward a prolonged strike.

November 5
India's Demand to Buy Silver Doubles on Gold Ban, Price Drop
DEMAND to buy silver amongst Indian households has pushed the country's imports of the precious metal to twice last year's level and may set a record in 2013, according to industry experts. Between January and September, silver imports to India totaled more than 4,000 tonnes, already beating full-year 2012 says the Thomson Reuters GFMS consultancy.

November 5
A Closer Look At Bank Bail-Ins And The Black Hole Of Our System
The bank bail-in rumble is growing louder. After the events in Cyprus, a small country and potentially meaningless in the eyes of most people, it seems that bail-in idea has spread like a virus across the Western world.

November 5
Turkey’s Gold Imports In 2013 May Surpass Record Over 269.5 Metric Tonnes
Turkey’s gold imports jumped more than threefold in October to 15.98 metric tons, from 4.8 tons in September, according to the Istanbul Gold Exchange’s website. That’s the highest since July, the data shows. Turkey has already imported 251.4 metric tonnes in 2013, year to date, meaning that it will come very close to or surpass the record import year in 2005 when 269.5 metric tonnes of gold were imported). Year to date imports are more than double the amount of gold imports in 2012 and more than triple those in 2011.

November 4
Fed's Bullard: $1 trillion a year QE pace 'torrid'
The Federal Reserve's current $85-billion-a-month in bond purchases is a "torrid pace," St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told CNBC on Monday. But he added in a "Squawk Box" interview, "It's a very reasonable thing to do to substitute for the fact that you can't lower interest rates any further." "Eighty-five [billion dollars] is a torrid pace, I will give you that. And a trillion dollars a year is a torrid pace," acknowledged Bullard, a Fed voting member this year. "I'd rather get out it if we can, but I'd like to meet our goals."

November 4
Gold holds steady as U.S. Mint's brisk coin sales surpass 2012 totals
"There are some people who are still stocking up on physical gold" Gold gained slightly Monday as the dollar weakened and a Federal Reserve official suggested that the central bank is in no hurry to start tapering its massive stimulus program. By Monday evening, bullion was trading near $1,317, while silver also finished the day up, near $21.70. However, investors are looking ahead to the October nonfarm-payrolls report from the Labor Department, due Friday, since the Fed is basing the continuation of its bond-buying program on improvements in the jobs market.

November 4
South Africa Union Starts Pay Strike at Northam Platinum
A strike called by South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers at Northam Platinum Ltd. (NHM) over wages continued into a second day as the company said it has proposed a meeting between the sides tomorrow. “There has been no invitation from the company, but we’ll be ready to see them” for talks, Ecliff Tantsi, the union’s negotiator at Northam, said by phone today. The company’s management resolved, for safety purposes, not to allow production-related employees underground yesterday, Northam said in an e-mailed statement. 

October 31
Gold Imports From Hong Kong were 109.4 metric tonnes in September
Gold shipments to China from Hong Kong fell for a second month after the premium to take immediate delivery declined, indicating waning physical demand in the nation poised to become the largest consumer.Net imports, after deducting flows from China into Hong Kong, were 109.4 metric tons in September, from 110.2 tons a month earlier, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data e-mailed from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department. Still, the amount has more than doubled to 826 tons in the first nine months of the year, the data show.

October 31
Japanese Pension Funds Show Appetite For Gold: World Gold Council
Japanese pension funds have shown strong interest in buying gold, prompted in part by "Abenomic" easy money policies, according to the gold trade group the World Gold Council. “It is an area of growth for very natural reasons, especially in a period like this,” said council investment researcher Juan Carlos Artigas, at a council event in New York on Wednesday. “We definitely expect a continuation of this trend in Japan.”

October 29
Gold Retreats; Silver Eagle Bullion Sales Top 39M to Near Record
Gold fell below the pivotal $1,350 an ounce level on Tuesday, marking a second day of losses, albeit modest ones, as investors stayed their buying ahead of the highly anticipated FOMC monetary policy statement. 

October 29
Fed Balance Sheet Not Seen Returning to Normal Until at Least 2019
The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet, which is fast approaching $4 trillion in total assets, won’t return to normal until sometime between mid-2019 and mid-2021, according to new projections prepared by central bank researchers. 

October 29
Strange gofo cry heralds trouble for gold
Source: FT.COM It would be much better for the financial world if the metal were just bumping along, says John Dizard. John Brimelow, a gold analyst who has been deconstructing the Indian premiums for many years, says: “There was a collapse of Indian premiums in early August that was due to the collapse of the rupee and the rise in duty to the current level. The current 20 per cent premium has not been seen since gold import was made legal in 1990.”

A third strange cry in the forest is the “negative gofo”, or gold forward lease rates that effectively pay a higher gold price over the next three months than in the future. This “backwardation” is a common enough phenomenon for other commodities in short physical supply, but, given the much greater weight of above-ground supplies in the gold market, is supposed to be a nonexistent or fleeting occurrence for the metal. Yet the negative gofo, at least for 400 oz good delivery London bullion bars, has persisted for weeks.As one of my gold refiner friends puts it: “The negative gofo is just a shortage of kilo bars. It is, technically, a backwardation, but I call it the convenience yield of having gold immediately available for physical delivery. Look at the huge premiums in the Shanghai exchange and in India. You think maybe the market will normalise and the premium will disappear soon. So you pay up for immediate delivery.”The 400 oz bars, though, are the only acceptable form of backing for gold ETFs, not to mention the London market. There is a shrinking supply, which have been gradually flown from London to Switzerland, where they are further refined, cast into kilos, and sent on to China, India, the Middle East and elsewhere.Say, what if there is a rise in the world gold price that leads to an increase in demand for gold ETFs and exchange traded futures? Could the gold flow back from those kilo bars to recasting as good delivery 400 oz bars?Not easy, my refiner says: “Much of that has been converted to jewellery. It would be a lengthy process. Those are pretty sticky hands.”He continues: “This could turn into a very violent wake-up for (screen-traded gold). People talk about ‘fiat currencies’, but we also have fiat gold. Volatility is too cheap right now.”

October 29
Chinese Gold Consumption and Production Increasing
A recent study released this week reported a big surprise. The buying of luxury goods this year is expected to top last year’s sales, with growth in the Americas overtaking that of China, a worldwide study revealed yesterday. In a reversal of the trend in recent years, spending on luxuries in the Americas is expected to grow four per cent this year, as opposed to 2.5 per cent for China. Ironically, one of the factors driving sales growth in the Americas is tourist spending from the increasing number of Chinese visiting cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Regardless of how you move the data around, the fact remains that the Chinese are driving high end luxury good sales at home and abroad. This supports the recent news that China is surpassing India as the largest purchaser of gold. While industrial demand increases but the demand for private consumption is exceeding expectations. Gold consumption in China, the world’s largest user after India, jumped 54 percent in the first half of 2013, putting the country on track to become the top bullion consumer at a time when demand is contracting elsewhere.

October 28
Gold: Play The Coming Countertrend Rally?
In our view, the main driver for gold’s “surprising weakness” has been liquidation and capitulation out of gold as an investment vehicle. It is true that sharply declining real bond yields, EMU tensions and a rising equity risk premium all combined to help gold from early 2009 until mid-2011. At that point, gold had become over-owned, given that there were no signs of inflation, and further nonconventional monetary actions failed to benefit the yellow metal. From August 2011 until early 2013, the dollar dominated gold movements. Since then, gold has “underperformed” what would have been predicted based on the dollar, real bond yields and EMU bank stocks.

October 27
Turkey, Kazakhstan raised gold reserves in September: IMF
Turkey and Kazakhstan raised their gold holdings in September, while Russia's bullion reserves eased, according to preliminary data from the International Monetary Fund. Investors are closely monitoring any possible shift in central bank attitudes toward gold after bullion prices rose to a three-month high above $1,430 an ounce on August 28. Spot gold edged up 0.3 percent to $1,350 on Friday.

October 26
In Fed and Out, Many Now Think Inflation Helps
WASHINGTON — Inflation is widely reviled as a kind of tax on modern life, but as Federal Reserve policy makers prepare to meet this week, there is growing concern inside and outside the Fed that inflation is not rising fast enough. Some economists say more inflation is just what the American economy needs to escape from a half-decade of sluggish growth and high unemployment.

October 25
European emissions rules seen boosting platinum demand
LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Demand for platinum may pick up next year when new European auto emission rules are likely to reverse a trend toward replacing it with cheaper palladium in diesel autocatalysts, a Johnson Matthew senior researcher said. The auto industry is the largest single source of demand for platinum, but that market has come under pressure since the start of the financial crisis, which put consumers off buying new cars. In addition, carmakers have been working for years towards substituting platinum in autocatalysts with cheaper metals, chiefly palladium, particularly after platinum hit record highs in 2008 of more than $2,000 per ounce.

October 24
Consumer Sentiment in U.S. Falls to Eight-Month Low: Economy
Consumer confidence sank last week to the lowest level in eight months as Americans grew more concerned the budget standoff in Washington hurt the world’s largest economy. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index declined to minus 36.1 in the period ended Oct. 20, the lowest since February, from minus 34.1. The report also showed more households were pessimistic about the economy than at any time in the past year even as lawmakers approved a deal that ended the partial shutdown of federal agencies.

October 24
Silver Scrap Supply "Falls 30%" from 2011 Peak
Refiner says scrap silver supplies retreat further from 2011 peak as prices fall... SILVER SCRAP supplies from North America and Europe have fallen up to 30% from the peak of 2011, a leading refiner told an industry conference Wednesday. Speaking at the Silver Industrial Conference in Washington, Grant Angwin of Johnson Matthey – which produces London Good Delivery silver bars at its Salt Lake City plant in the US, and at Brampton in Canada – said that flows of existing above-ground silver, back to market, have fallen 20-30% over the last two years.

October 24
Platinum Shortages Extending as Car Sales Quicken: Commodities
Platinum and palladium will be the best performing precious metals next year as record global car sales will keep them in short supply for a third year, according to the most-accurate forecasters. The metals, used in catalytic converters, will be in a shortage for the longest stretch since 2005 for platinum and 2000 for palladium, Barclays Plc and Johnson Matthey Plc data show. Platinum will gain 13 percent to average $1,635 an ounce by the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the mean of eight estimates by the most-accurate analysts tracked by Bloomberg in the past two years. Palladium will gain 10 percent to average $823 an ounce, the most for a quarter since 2001.

October 24
Central Banks Drop Tightening Talk as Easy Money Goes On
The era of easy money is shaping up to keep going into 2014. The Bank of Canada’s dropping of language about the need for future interest-rate increases and today’s decisions by central banks in Norway and Sweden to leave their rates on hold unite them with counterparts in reinforcing rather than retracting loose monetary policy. The Federal Reserve delayed a pullback in asset purchases, while emerging markets from Hungary to Chile cut borrowing costs in the past two months.

October 22
Gold Premiums in India Climb to Record as Curbs Widen Shortage
Gold premiums in India, the world’s largest user, climbed to a record as jewelers rushed to secure supplies to meet soaring demand during festivals and weddings amid government curbs on imports. The fees paid by jewelers to banks and other importers climbed to as much as $120 an ounce over the London price this week compared with a discount of $60 a month earlier, said Bachhraj Bamalwa, a director at the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation. Premiums may surge to $150 to $200 if the shortage persists, he said. The raw material scarcity is worsening as imports slumped after the government linked shipments to re-exports in July and increased tax on overseas purchases for a third time this year to curtail demand. Purchases of gold and silver tumbled to $800 million last month from $4.6 billion a year earlier, the Commerce Ministry said Oct. 9.

October 22
TABLE-Swiss net raw platinum imports drop to 4-month low
LONDON, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Switzerland's net imports of raw platinum fell last month to their lowest since May, data from its customs bureau showed, as exports to China hit a three-month high at 1.903 tonnes. Switzerland remained a net importer of the autocatalyst metal for a fourth month, with shipments from South Africa, the world's biggest platinum producer, hitting their highest since June at 2.937 tonnes. The country became a net exporter of raw palladium for the first time in three months, meanwhile, as imports dwindled to a three-month low. Russia exported no raw palladium to Switzerland for a third month, although it shipped another 202 kilograms of semi-finished palladium, a similar level to that shipped in every month this since February.

October 22
Not much of a festival season for Indians as gold runs dry
(Reuters) - In India's biggest bullion market, Mumbai's Zaveri Bazaar, gold dealers are busy -- not filling orders for customers, but busy avoiding phone calls because they don't have any gold to sell.

October 21
Zimbabwe needs $5.3bn for massive platinum production increase
nvestment totalling over $5.3 billion is required in Zimbabwe if the country is to match Russia as the world's second largest platinum producer after South Africa. A report from the country's Chamber of Mines, seen by Bloomberg, outlines the spending needed to increase production to over 500,000 oz/y. Zimbabwe currently produces around 365,000 oz, versus Russia's 800,000 oz and South Africa's 4.1 million ounces last year. Some $2.8 billion of investment is needed in mines, up to $2 billion in processing plants and between $200 and $500 million to ensure adequate power supply, the report said.

October 18
UK gold exports to Switzerland surge as investors sell ETFs
LONDON, Oct 18 (Reuters) - A surge in gold exports from the United Kingdom to Switzerland this year may largely be the result of metal sold out of exchange-traded funds being shipped for re-refining before making its way to Asia, according to Australian bank Macquarie. 

October 17
The US Treasury Daily Statement for October 17, 2013 shows debt at $
17.027544 trillion

October 16
‘A financial buyer’s market’: Private equity firms continue to circle mining sector
During the past couple of years, private equity firms have quietly grown into key players in the mining industry. And with mining valuations in the gutter and equity financing all but dried up, their role could soon get bigger.In a presentation in Toronto on Wednesday, private equity insiders noted that the firms are raising huge dollars for mining investments. They argued that it is a potential source of financing for many distressed companies. 

October 16
Chinese gold output to August up 8% year on year
Some 220.773 tonnes of gold were mined in China in the first eight months of 2013; in August, the country produced 37.978 tonnes of the yellow metal.Output from the world's largest gold producer, China has advanced sharply, up 8.18% year on year to 270.167 tonnes from January to August 2013, according to data released by the China Gold Association. In August 2013, the country produced 37.978 tonnes of gold.Bullion consumption too has jumped, rising 54% in the first six months of 2013, from a year ago period.
Last year, China's gold consumption rose 9.35% to 832.18 metric tonnes and the country is slated to overtake India to become the biggest gold consumer this year. 

October 15
The International Monetary Fund Lays The Groundwork For Global Wealth Confiscation
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) quietly dropped a bomb in its October Fiscal Monitor Report. Titled “Taxing Times,” the report paints a dire picture for advanced economies with high debts that fail to aggressively “mobilize domestic revenue.” It goes on to build a case for drastic measures and recommends a series of escalating income and consumption tax increases culminating in the direct confiscation of assets. 

October 15
Indian Gold Premiums Surge $30 To Record On Physical Demand, Supply Crunch
Gold premiums in India, the world's biggest buyer of gold along with China, jumped sharply last week as the festive season began, driving up demand, and supply remained tight on a lack of imports according to Reuters.Premiums to London prices jumped to $30 to $40 an ounce from last week's $5 to $7, the All-India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) said."There is no official gold available. People are not willing to sell their old jewellery either, at these prices," said Sudheesh Nambiath, an analyst with metals consultancy Thomson Reuters GFMS.
 

October 14
India's Rajan: 'We Can Pay The World In Gold'
The Indian economy has been struggling to grow thanks a tumbling currency and surging food and energy prices. Besides slowing growth, many have been watching two data points keenly. The first is the nation's current account deficit, currently at -5.07% of GDP. The other is its external debt which stands at 22% of GDP. 

October 11
European central bank gold sales lowest since 1999 accord
European central banks sold 5.1 metric tons of gold in the fourth year of an accord that originated in 1999, the lowest on record, according to data from the World Gold Council. Germany sold 5 tons and an unidentified bank disposed 0.1 ton in the year through Sept. 26, the cpuncil, a London-based producer-funded group, said in a report on its website. That’s the lowest annual total since European central banks agreed to limit sales in September 1999. Germany’s Bundesbank sells a small amount each year to mint coins.

October 9
U.S., Switzerland Export Largest Ever Amounts Of Gold To Hong Kong And Investors Should Take Note
Chinese gold import data have just been released for August, and it shows that imports are still very strong. But what investors should really take note of is that imports into Hong Kong were close to 300 tonnes in August - which would put them on pace to suck up all of global mine supply.

October 9
Monsoon, weddings to light up gold demand
After a depressing third quarter, the World Gold Council (WGC) is betting highly on India’s gold demand in the fourth quarter of the current calendar year, following recommencement of import after two months of disruption. WGC forecasts India’s gold demand to remain robust in the fourth quarter at around 300 tonnes, a rise of around 15 per cent from 260.3 tonnes in the same quarter of the previous year.  

October 9
Indians may import record volumes of silver
(Reuters) - Indian silver imports are on pace to hit a record high this year as the wedding and festival season drives up buying of the precious metal instead of the traditional gold, made scarcer and dearer by official measures aimed at cutting the trade gap. Higher silver demand in the world's biggest buyer may help support prices, which have fallen almost 30 percent this year on the international market and are on track for their biggest annual drop in almost three decades.

October 8
China's gold imports from Hong Kong remain above 100 tonnes in August
(Reuters) - China's net gold purchases from Hong Kong fell 5 percent in August from the previous month, but were still above 100 tonnes for a fourth straight month, as strong demand for jewellery and bars persisted in the world's second-biggest bullion consumer. Net gold flows into China - excluding imports by Hong Kong from China - hit 110.505 tonnes in August, compared with 116.385 tonnes in July, data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department showed. Total imports from Hong Kong rose to 131.374 tonnes from 129.232 tonnes a month ago.

October 8
Biggest US Foreign Creditors Show Concern on Default Risk
China and Japan, which together hold more than $2.4 trillion in U.S. Treasuries, raised pressure on the U.S. to resolve a political impasse on its debt ceiling that threatens to destabilize global financial markets. Japan must consider the impact of any default on its bond holdings, even as the U.S. will probably avoid a fiscal crisis, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said today in Tokyo. Chinese Deputy Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said yesterday that the U.S. should prevent a default, the People’s Daily reported.

October 7
Why Uncle Sam is hoarding gold
Grab any Wall Street trader in a bar, or any portfolio manager in his office, and he's likely to tell you gold is finished.It's silly, nothing more than a shiny metal, a substance with little use and little real value, a "barbarous relic," and the stuff of nothing more than superstition. Only a fool would own any gold in his portfolio.Right?After all, its value has plunged by $500 an ounce in the past year, and $100 just in the past month. Gold hasn't even rallied during the budget crisis: So much for its "safe haven" status.There is just one nagging problem with this story line. One group of people disagrees. And I am not talking about wacko gold bugs in Arizona ("the ex-husband state") with tinfoil on their heads.I am talking about the people running the United States Treasury.They remain firm believers in gold. Big-time.This week I asked them if they would consider selling some of the country's gold reserves to pay the bills if the budget crisis escalates later this month. Their response? Not a chance. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-uncle-sam-is-hoarding-gold-2013-10-04?d ist=beforebell  

October 7
Norilsk Nickel Sees Platinum, Palladium Deficit Through 2016 Oct. 4
(Bloomberg) -- Palladium deficit will widen andplatinum shortage will narrow in 2014-2016, Norilsk Nickel saysin presentation on its website today.* Palladium shortage seen at 900,000oz in 2014, 950,000oz in2015 and 1.22m oz in 2016, from 940,000oz this yr* Platinum shortage will be 220,000oz in 2014, 200,000oz in2015 and 100,000oz in 2016, from 460,000oz this yr* Sees sales from Russian palladium stockpiles at 100,000ozthis yr vs. 250,000oz in 2012; no sales in 2014 **bloomberg

October 3
Russia's Gold output rises sharply in Jan-July: Producers' Union
MOSCOW (Scrap Register): Russia gold output advanced sharply by 12.2% year-on-year to 122.041metric tons in the first seven months of this year, as per the latest figures released by the Union of Russian Gold Producers.

October 3
Indian, US silver price arbitrage,trade sees upswing after gold curb
Indian silver prices broadly track the international market, but there are sharp variations depending on industrial demand, festive purchases and the mood of investors in the Mumbai and New York futures market as well as the spot market.

October 3
SA situation the biggest risk to platinum prices — Natixis
THE direction of the platinum price — and to some extent the palladium price — will be determined by developments in South Africa over the next two years, Natixis has said in a Metals Review.

October 1
India's October gold imports seen picking up sharply
(Reuters) - India's only gold imports in August and September were for exporters' use, reducing volumes to a fraction of what the world's biggest bullion buyer used to bring in before the government took steps to rein in purchases.

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Gold

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Silver

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Platinum

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Palladium

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