Unlike Bitcoin, which has doubled in the past few weeks (as the predicted Chinese buying onslaught indeed materialized), it hasn't been a good week for spot gold prices which have tumbled from $1,180 to just over $1,100. While the reason for the selling is unknown, with recurring speculation that an imminent Fed rate hike will make holding gold even more unwelcome in real terms (if not in India where gold now pays interest on par with inflation), what we do know is that as of yesterday the total registered gold at the Comex had dropped to a fresh record low following another transfer of "registered" gold into "eligible."
This reduced overnight the total amount of eligible gold by a third to just over 151,000 ounces, or under 5 tons as the zoomed in chart below shows.
And since the gold open interest continues to rise modestly...
... this means that as of today, the gold "coverage" ratio, or the amount of paper claims for every ounce of physical, has just hit a new all time high of 293 ounces of paper per ounce of registered physical.
Curiously, the last time we observed a comparable surge in the Comex dilution ratio took place just two months ago when a comparable "adjustment" reduced JPM's "Registered" inventory by 122,124 ounces. Back then many said the adjustment would be promptly reversed.
Two months later not only has that not happened, but JPM is now down to just 10,777 ounces of Registered while many other vaults continue to see either outright withdrawals or comparable adjustments.
How much longer can this exponential surge in the dilution ratio continue? We don't know, although with less than 5 tons of registered gold left in the Comex vault system, we hope that the mystery of what is really going on at the Comex will finally be unveiled.