As we noted last week, all around the world the demand for physical precious metals has soared in the days following paper gold's price collapse. As the FT reports, from Shanghai and Hong Kong to India, one dealer noted, "Older members who have been in the business for 50 years haven’t seen such a thing." The feverish buying has left many of Hong Kong's banks, jewelers, and even its gold exchange without enough gold to meet demand. Record volumes on Shanghai's exchange, lines outside Beijing jewelry stores, and the proximity of Hindu festivals drove "Indian physical demand and premiums," higher as the worlds two largest gold buying nations prompted one exchange CEO to note that we hadn't, "seen this kind of gold rush in over 20 years." It would seem the concerted effort to collapse paper prices in London and New York has provided the rest of the world a multi-decade buying opportunity.
Via The FT,
Asia is witnessing one of the strongest waves of physical gold buying in 30 years, with bargain hunters using the drop in prices to secure jewellery and gold bars.
The feverish buying has left many of Hong Kong’s banks, jewellers and even its gold exchange without enough yellow metal to meet demand. In Shanghai, the gold exchange saw volumes – often seen as a proxy for demand – rising to a record on Monday, while queues formed outside some jewellery shops in Beijing.
Haywood Cheung, president of the Hong Kong Gold & Silver Exchange Society, said the exchange had effectively run out of most of its holdings as members looked to meet a shortfall in supply amid rampant retail demand for gold products.
“In terms of volume, I haven’t seen this gold rush for over 20 years,” he told the Financial Times on Monday, adding that the exchange only had around twenty 1kg bars, and 100 five-tael bars left in its inventory. “Older members who have been in the business for 50 years haven’t seen such a thing.”
Trading volume on the Shanghai gold exchange jumped to a record high on Monday, reaching 43 metric tonnes, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The previous record, set on April 19, was just 30.4 metric tonnes.
[In India, traders] reported stronger-than-usual buying as bargain hunters feared that prices had bottomed and would start rising once again.
The proximity of some Hindu festivals, usually trigger points for gold demand, further exacerbated buying. “Indian physical demand and premiums rose,” Suki Cooper, metals analyst at Barclays in London, said in a note to clients on Monday.