In the "west", the higher the price of gold rose, the more demand there seemingly was by momentum-chasing gamblers investors, if only for paper certificates claiming to represent gold, or GLD as the case may be. Conversely, once the momentum turned, the same investors couldn't be bothered with gld (sic) even at 30% lower. At the same time, in the "east" the higher the price of gold rose, the lower the demand was for physical, which for that extinct breed of deranged gambler known as "value investor" is a familiar concept." And now that gold's price is not only back to early 2011 levels, but is essentially below production costs, demand out of China is off the charts. Demand in India - traditionally the greatest in the world - continues to also at unprecedented levels, although now that official purchases of gold are regulated and limited through capital controls, it is forcing the local population to smuggle in gold through the most innovative of schemes.
But while the west is the west, and the east is the east, and no amount of adaptive behavioral modifications can change that, much to central bankers' chagrin, what lies in-between? Courtesy of the Saudi Gazette we learn that the uber-rich middle eastern kingdom, which floats on a sea of oil has picked its side... and it has chosen to take advantage of the ongoing paper-driven price collapse and load up on as much gold as possible.
From the Saudi Gazette:
The gold shops in Jeddah are now flourishing as more customers are buying various gold types thanks to the international drop of gold prices.
Saleh who works in Al-Amari gold shop said that more people are now buying various gold jewelries and others are buying gold bullions to store their money after staying away from gold for quite sometime.
According to him various nationalities are approaching them including Saudis, Africans and Indians. The prices he said range from SR165 to SR140 per gram based on the item being sold. The price is set based on any additional work or jewelries being added. The country where the gold comes from also determent the price, “We have Italian Indian, Bahraini, Korean and local gold creations each with a distinct price,” said Saleh.
Speaking to the Saudi Gazette, Ali Batarfi, deputy chief of gold in Jeddah, said that they anticipate that the gold prices will continue to drop towards this month to reach $1150 per once, however the prices are likely to increase during the first quarter of 2014.
Batarfi said “the gold market is now witnessing an increase in sales thinks to the drop in gold prices, however not only that but also the school break that will start very soon will also drag more consumers into the market who will buy gold for their special occasions especially weddings.”
The gold has marked a drop this year from $1,920 per once to $1,193.3, which crated a difference in the costumer attitude in buying and storing gold, said Batarfi and added, “we anticipate that more gold will be sold both with jewelries and pure bullions.”
Experts in the field believe that the international move towards investing in various sectors and the stabilization of these moves have decreased the investment in gold with China and India lessening their investment in gold. The demand on gold from central banks has also lessened. Consumer demand for gold jewelry worldwide grew by 20 percent for the year ending September 2013, reaching 3,757 tons and valued at $183.9 billion.
According to a report released lately by The World Gold Council’s Gold Demand Trends, regional consumer demand for gold jewelry has grown by 25 percent, reaching 225.8 tons and valued at $10.9 billion, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia featuring prominently.
So while the rest of the world celebrates the anti-Giffen good nature of gold, a function of sophisticated US investors for whom only momentum and 200 DMA lines matter, and is buying it up at an unprecedented pace, these same sophisticated investors in the US are dumping the certificates representing to be backed by the yellow metal in droves and are BTFATHing stock certificates exchangeable for a currency that is being diluted at a pace of $85 $75 billion per month, even as more and more gold miners are set to go out of business if the price of gold continues to drop below production cost.
We are confident that we know how this latest "conflict" between "east" and "west" will end...