Monetary Metals Supply and Demand Report: 21 Dec, 2014

The price of gold measured in dollars fell 27 bucks and the price of silver fell about a buck. Or, as we see things, the dollar rose more than half a milligram of gold or 100mg of silver.

For a picture of the supply and demand fundamentals. Read on…

First, here is the graph of the metals’ prices.

The Prices of Gold and Silver
letter dec 21 prices

We are interested in the changing equilibrium created when some market participants are accumulating hoards and others are dishoarding. Of course, what makes it exciting is that speculators can (temporarily) exaggerate or fight against the trend. The speculators are often acting on rumors, technical analysis, or partial data about flows into or out of one corner of the market. That kind of information can’t tell them whether the globe, on net, is hoarding or dishoarding.

One could point out that gold does not, on net, go into or out of anything. Yes, that is true. But it can come out of hoards and into carry trades. That is what we study. The gold basis tells us about this dynamic.

Conventional techniques for analyzing supply and demand are inapplicable to gold and silver, because the monetary metals have such high inventories. In normal commodities, inventories divided by annual production can be measured in months. The world just does not keep much inventory in wheat or oil.

With gold and silver, stocks to flows is measured in decades. Every ounce of those massive stockpiles is potential supply. Everyone on the planet is potential demand. At the right price, and under the right conditions. Looking at incremental changes in mine output or electronic manufacturing is not helpful to predict the future prices of the metals. For an introduction and guide to our concepts and theory, click here.

Next, this is a graph of the gold price measured in silver, otherwise known as the gold to silver ratio. It rose big time, closing over 76 on Tuesday before subsiding somewhat to 74.5, up 2.6 points or 3.7% from last week.

The Ratio of the Gold Price to the Silver Price
letter dec 21 ratio

For each metal, we will look at a graph of the basis and cobasis overlaid with the price of the dollar in terms of the respective metal. It will make it easier to provide terse commentary. The dollar will be represented in green, the basis in blue and cobasis in red.

Here is the gold graph.

The Gold Basis and Cobasis and the Dollar Price
letter dec 21 gold

This week, both the price and the bases moved opposite to last week. In fact, price is about the same as it was two weeks ago, on Friday Dec 5 and so is the cobasis.

We wish those speculators would make up their minds already. This repositioning is getting a bit boring. Maybe next week…

Now let’s look at silver.

The Silver Basis and Cobasis and the Dollar Price
letter dec 21 silver

Last week, Boromir from Lord of the Rings made a cameo right here in this Report. He helped make the point that there was no fundamental reason for the silver price to keep rising. On Monday it fell (the green line here is the price of the dollar measured in silver, which rose correspondingly).

As with gold, the price and bases show speculator repositioning. Also as with gold, they are very close to their levels of Dec 5. Actually, the dollar is a bit higher than on Dec 5 and the cobasis, i.e. scarcity, is a bit lower.


© 2014 Monetary Metals

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