Three weeks ago, we reported that the US Mint had run out of physical silver on the same day silver plunged to its lowest price in 2015. This happened just days after the UK Royal mint announced that "during June, we experienced twice the expected demand for Sovereign bullion coins from our customers based in Greece."
While the surge in physical demand clearly did not explain the liquidation in the price of "paper" silver, we are still hoping that the OCC writes us back with an explanation why this happened, and maybe it can clarify also just how much more silver the mint will sell before it runs out of silver in inventory again as it did 20 days ago.
We bring all of this up because just like 20 days ago when unstoppable demand for physical silver met an immovable paper silver selling object (with the "object" for now winning), so earlier today the price of gold tumbled to the lowest level in 5 years, some $1,072 per ounce, before it staged a dramatic comeback closing just under $1,100...
... thanks in no small part to the illegal spoofing we noted earlier.
And lo and behold, just like in the case of silver three weeks ago, today's gold liquidation was not due to selling of physical metal. In fact, quite the contrary: according to the US mint, so far in July the mint has sold a whopping 143,000 ounces of physical gold - the most in over two years, or since April of 2013 - even as the price of gold briefly slid to the lowest level in 5 years.
In other words, retail investors, who have bought over 7 million ounces of gold since January 2008 or the one third the total "held" currently by the GLD ETF, were eagerly buying up all the physical they could get their hands on, or said otherwise, "taking delivery" at the prevailing price, a process which practically assures that the US Mint will be out of gold in the next few days.
We wonder when some central banks, the bulk of whose gold remains in "deliverable" format, decide to do the same? A few more down days in the stock market, coupled with a record high hedge fund short interest, and we just may get our answer.