The Physical Gold Fund has released a new interview with the head of one of the five major Swiss gold refiners. The Physical Gold Fund also sponsors monthly webinars with Jim Rickards (here is the latest one of those).
In this interview, the ongoing relatively low price for gold given reports of tight supply is discussed. Below are a few selected questions and answers from the interview.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jon: Hello. This is Jon Ward with Physical Gold Fund. Recently I was privileged to hold a candid conversation with one of the most connected and influential people in the physical gold market. The gentleman you’re about to hear from holds a senior position in one of the five largest precious metals refineries on the planet. Because of his current position and his decades of prior experience, he has a deep inside knowledge of today’s physical gold markets. His insights and unique perspective on these markets goes way beyond what you will ever find in the mainstream press. Due to the sensitivity of the information he reveals in this interview, his identity and that of the refinery he works for have been withheld. . . . . . .
Jon: Yes, it’s from the people you talk to personally day-by-day across the world. In 2013, I recall you commented on the tightening of physical supply in the gold market and even the difficulties you were having in sourcing material. In fact, as I remember, you remarked that in 30 years, you’d never seen anything like it. Is that situation still true in 2015? How difficult is it to source the metal you need today?
Below is a summary of the issues discussed
*Why trying to correlate physical flows with the price can be misleading
*On-going tightness in the physical gold markets
*There is less liquidity in the physical market
*The physical tightness of flow is reflected in the price “not at all”
*As long as the spot market is settled with cash settlement, the physical flows are not determining price
*If investors dealing in cash markets begin to take delivery, the physical is just not around
*The current pricing mechanism can continue indefinitely unless investor behavior changes to taking delivery versus cash settlement
*The gold price has “no correlation to the physical market”
*If this behavior changes (to taking physical delivery) it could become dramatically dangerous
*Gold is moving in one direction from west to east with small exceptions over the last year
*90% of the refinery’s business is currently supplying demand from the east (India, China) and 10% to western markets
*China has imposed a new standard on the LBMA good delivery system of 1 kilo, 999.9 fineness
*400oz bars being melted and refined to 1 kilo 999.9 fine bars and shipped into China are coming out of London and particularly the ETF’s such as GLD
*In the next gold upleg, scrap may not be readily available – overall scrap has decreased remarkably
*Declining investment in the mining sector and geo-political issues affecting mining viability will unavoidably reduce gold supply moving forward
*The danger of less supply moving forward is more likely than the comfort of more supply