Search Blog Posts

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Front-Line Observations From A Seasoned Gold & Silver Bullion Dealer


Submitted by Adam Taggart of Peak Prosperity,
Spikes and plunges in the U.S. dollar price of gold; this is not new. It goes back to the early 1970s. We remember that for most of the past 40 years, physical gold and silver investors, particularly in the U.S., tended to chase big rallies and buy late, while too often selling after plunges or after long periods of price erosion.
Gold was sold then primarily as an inflation hedge. When it was working, speculators bought much more. When it stopped working as an inflation hedge, they first became puzzled and frustrated, then fearful, and they sold out at bottoms.

So, fast-forward to this month, and today’s gold community starts to look a bit different as the breakdown below previous gold and silver price support levels began, and especially last week, with gold going below $1400. Physical buyers were outnumbering sellers in our store by at least 5 to 1. And some of the unfortunate sellers had not changed their thinking about gold long-term; they just needed fast liquidity, which is another benefit of gold.

80 – 90% of the people who have bought gold from us in the last two weeks on the drop were already gold owners, already gold savers. 

Their attitude is, gold is on sale 
Robert Mish kindly took a break from operations at his bullion dealership to return for another conversation with Chris on what he's been observing on the front lines this week, transacting with both retail and wholesale customers.


Gold is a little bit backlogged. The premiums are slightly elevated. Products commonly traded, such as gold maple leafs, American eagles, and refiner one-ounce bars are 2-3 weeks out. And for some of my colleagues further away in the supply chain, 4-6 weeks out. The premiums are up to maybe $5 to $15 dollars an ounce over normal.


Silver is another story. The demand for silver has completely overwhelmed existing inventories and the ability of the mints and their refiners to produce more product.  The other big mystery is: how much more silver is there to make product out of? Will the buyers be able to keep the pressure on until the price of [physical] silver and paper silver have to move up just to return the market’s equilibrium? Right now, 100-ounce silver bars, which a few months ago were trading dealer-to-dealer around melt or a little over, are now 75 cents to a $1 an ounce not retail, our cost and 4 to 8 weeks out.  1-ounce and 10-ounce refiner product used to be 30, 40, 50 cents. Now it’s  $1.10-$1.25, our cost, 2-4 weeks out. Silver maple leafs, our cost from the prime American distributor of the Canadian Royal Mint today: $3.75. It was $1.70 a month ago. 3-4 weeks out. Silver eagles, normally a little over $2, they are $5 if you want them live; $4 if you want them in 4-6 weeks.

These premiums are the physical market saying, we are willing to pay this for real silver right now. Whether the suppliers can meet this demand and bring the premium down, we’ll see weeks from now. It is much different this time than it was in the past, in that the drop in price is bringing in buyers rather than sellers. It used to be that a rally would bring in the buyers. So we have had an important change.

The Big Picture

The powers that be guided a lot of that potential demand into paper gold and exchanged traded products of various forms. Then they slaughter those products, and I’m sure in their mind hopefully discouraged those people for a long time. But in time, changing cultures and the prosperity of people internationally in cultures which understand gold, I think is going to take its toll on the shorting game. And the shorting game will end badly. And that doesn’t mean that those who have the other side of the equation necessarily will profit, because they will find a corrupt way to burn them.

What we have now is a game of chicken between the physical buyers and the paper shorters. It is like, who will quit first? We have a shortage of physical product. But we are told by the mint distributors and the refiners Oh, don’t worry. In two, three, four, five weeks your orders will arrive. If the buying continues at the pace it’s going, or begins to expand to a greater percent of the population in this country and worldwide, eventually, by asking for delivery, the physical buyers will change the game. It is a poker game of both real cards and bluffing. Are the shorts bluffing? Yeah. But they get away with it over and over again. This time when the longs fold as they have in the past, the shorts, they sandbag the river. But the flood of fiat currency keeps rising. If buyers would stick to their guns and develop habits and understand why they buy gold and silver, the shorts will run out of sand.
Robert also shares details on the buying activity of his Asian clients. There is much for the West to emulate, particularly if it does not want to wake up one day realizing it has dis-hoarded the bulk of its bullion overseas.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Robert Mish (41m:34s):
Click here to read the full transcript

 Zero Hedge