Physical Silver Investors Continue Their Record High Accumulation

In this article we show some important physical gold and silver investment demand data. For both metals, we look into the latest figures of the physical ETF holdings and the US Eagle sales. The combination of these data paints a reliable of the investment demand (although we are aware that central bank data should be included, but those data are published with a significant delay).

Physical gold

The physical holdings of the largest ETF (GLD) are still declining. The latest update:

  • March 22nd: 39,264,720.83 ounces
  • March 11th: 39,762,083.81 ounces
  • March 1st: 40,313,649.35 ounces
  • Feb 15th: 42,534,954.30 ounces

When we look at the other ETF’s, it seems that the decline in total ETF holdings is mostly due to the GLD. The total decline is close to the GDL decline, as visible on the latest data provided by the weekly Standard Bank Research report.

gold_etfs_holdings_15_march_2013

The US Gold Eagles sales figures show a slightly different picture. The first two months of the year saw an incredible start with historically high sales figures. In March, the demand is average when compared to the previous 5 years.

US_Mint_gold_eagles_15_march_2013

The outflow of physical holdings in the GLD ETF is indeed there, but in our opinion it is not significant (although it could become in the future). The “correction” is not really visible when looking over the long run. The US Gold Eagle demand is showing a different picture.

Physical silver

Physical silver held in trust by SLV keeps on increasing. The publicly available data on the site of the trust show the following increase:

  • March 22nd: 343.645.323,100 ounces
  • March 11th: 342.292.222,100 ounces
  • March 1st: 342.433.205,000 ounces
  • Feb 8th: 335,858,876.200 ounces

The total physical holdings of all ETF’s combined stand at the highest point ever!

silver_etfs_holdings_15_march_2013

The US Silver Eagles sales figures show again strong demand in March, although not the same extents as in the first two months of the year in which historically high sales were reported. Below figures show the demand up until Friday 22nd and compare it with the previous 5 years.

US_Mint_silver_eagles_15_march_2013

Conclusion

The physical silver demand is historically high and continues to be so. What does this mean?

Update

Interestingly, Eric Sprott published almost at the same time a comparable analysis, focusing on silver only though. We would like to quote his conclusion (latest paragraph in his article):

Although the silver spot price continues to waver just below $30/oz, silver investors should take solace in the growing divergence between the silver spot price and the investor demand implied by the ETF inflows and US Mint coin sales. The silver market’s paper vs. physical contradiction has never been more pronounced. We may finally be approaching the time where silver’s tightening physical market takes the lead in setting the metal’s spot price. Given the investor flows noted above, it would certainly make sense to us if it did.

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