Some Surprises in Swiss Gold Exports in September

23 October 2018 — Tuesday


The gold price was up a dollar or so by around noon China Standard Time on their Monday.  It began to edge lower from there, but the real selling pressure began around 8:30 a.m. BST in London.  The low tick of the day, such as it was, came around 10:30 a.m. in New York — and from that juncture it edged unsteadily higher until around 1 p.m. EDT — and wasn’t allowed to do much after that.

The high and low ticks definitely aren’t worth looking up.

Gold finished the Monday session at $1,221.70 spot, down $4.80 on the day.  Net volume was very quiet for the second day in a row at just over 173,500 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume was 14,137 contracts on top of that.

Silver’s Far East high also came around noon in Shanghai, but it was sold back to unchanged by the London open.  It jumped up a nickel or so at that point, but was hammered flat right away — and from there it chopped generally sideways until the 8:20 a.m. EDT COMEX open.  The price rose a pennies at that juncture, but was then sold lower, with its low tick of the day coming at the same time as gold’s…around 10:30 a.m. in New York.  It rallied quietly from there until 2 p.m. in the thinly-traded after-hours market — and traded sideways from there into the 5:00 p.m. close.

The high and low ticks were recorded by the CME Group as $14.715 and $14.54 in the December contract.

Silver was closed in New York yesterday at $14.53 spot, down 7 cents on the day.  Net volume was also pretty light at just over 57,000 contracts — and there was only 841 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in that precious metal.

The platinum price was forced to follow the silver price very closely on Monday.  Like in silver…around 8:45 a.m. EDT, ‘da boyz’ showed up and drove the price down to its $836 low tick, which came around 11:35 a.m. in New York trading.  It rallied rather weakly into the COMEX close from there — and didn’t do a lot after that. Platinum was closed on Monday at $820 spot, down 10 bucks from Friday.

Palladium, as it has had the tendency to be all year, was the outlier again yesterday.  It also rallied until around noon CST on their Monday morning — and then didn’t do much until 2 p.m. CEST in Zurich/8 a.m. EDT in New York.  It began to edge higher at that point — and then really took off at the COMEX open.  It took two steps higher in morning trading in New York — and got capped around 11:30 a.m. EDT…the same moment that platinum hit its low tick of the day.  It didn’t do/wasn’t allowed to do much after that — and it finished the Monday session at $1,111 spot, up 38 dollars from Friday’s close.

The dollar index closed very late on Friday afternoon in New York at 95.67 — and the chopped more or less sideways from the 6:00 p.m. EDT New York open on Sunday evening…until precisely 2:00 p.m. China Standard Time on their Monday afternoon. It fell down to its 95.47 low tick by around 8:25 a.m. in London.  A ‘rally’ began at that juncture — and it ran out of gas at the 96.09 mark a minute or so after 12 o’clock noon in New York.  An hour later it was back below the 96.00 mark, but then crept very quietly higher for the remainder of the Monday session — and finished the day at 96.03…up 36 basis points from Friday’s close.

Here’s the intraday chart from midnight onwards on Monday…

And here’s the 3-day chart showing the start of trading from 6 p.m. in New York on Sunday evening.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart — and the delta between its close on Monday — and the close on the intraday chart was 28 basis points yesterday.

The gold shares dropped about 1.5 percent in the first five minutes of trading on Monday morning in New York.  They rallied until the afternoon gold fix in London — and then sold off to their respective lows of the day about twenty-five minutes later.  From that point the rallied until shortly after 12 o’clock noon EDT — and from there crawled quietly lower in the close.  The HUI finished down 1.31 percent.

The silver equities followed the same general price path as the gold stocks — and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed down 1.36 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

And here’s Nick’s 1-year Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index chart.  Click to enlarge as well.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 16 gold and 59 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday.  In gold, the sole short/issuer was Advantage — and of the five long/stoppers in total, the two largest were JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley with 9 and 4 contracts respectively.  In silver, the two short/issuers were ADM with 56 — and Advantage with 3 contracts.  The long/stoppers were JPMorgan with 50…Advantage with 5 — and Morgan Stanley with 4 contracts.  All contracts in both gold and silver…issued and stopped…involved their respective client accounts.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Monday trading session showed that gold open interest in October fell by 51 contracts, leaving 65 still open, minus the 16 mentioned just above.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 55 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 55-51=4 gold contracts were added to the October delivery month.  Since silver open interest in October was only 1 contract on Friday, it should come as no surprise that silver o.i. in October rose by 59 silver contracts, leaving 60 still around, minus the 59 mentioned in the previous paragraph.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that there were zero silver contracts posted for delivery today.  There’s still that lone silver contract outstanding.

There were additions to both GLD and SLV yesterday, as authorized participants added 66,224 troy ounces to GLD — and 469,761 troy ounces of silver to SLV.

The folks over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank updated their website with the goings-on inside their gold and silver ETFs as of the close of business on Friday — and this is what they had to report.  There was a smallish 2,474 troy ounces of gold removed, but a decent 102,947 troy ounces of silver was added during the reporting week.

There was a sales report from the U.S. Mint on Monday.  They sold 4,000 troy ounces of gold eagles — and 200,000 silver eagles.

There was no in/out movement in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Friday.

There was certainly more activity in silver, as 607,309 troy ounces were reported received…one truck load…and all of that ended up over at JPMorgan.  There was 629,240 troy ounces received — and one smallish truck load…575,240 troy ounces…found a home at CNT — and the remaining 54,708 troy ounces were dropped off at Brink’s, Inc.  The link to that activity is here.

That deposit into JPMorgan brings their total COMEX silver stash up to the 146.14 million troy ounce mark which, I believe, is a new record high.

There was a fair amount of action over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Friday.  They received 1,550 of them — and shipped out 5,153.  All of this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. of course — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.

Here are two charts that Nick passed around yesterday evening that are worth a look.  They show Swiss gold imports and exports updated with September’s data — and it’s what’s not in these charts that’s worth checking out. Here’s what Nick had to say in his enclose comments with these graphs…

There are some substantial exports from Switzerland this last month that do not flow to their normal partners and hence do not show up in the exports chart.  Perhaps more central banks are buying as in Hungary’s case?

Gabon =        4.8 tonnes
Ghana =        5.2t
Hungary =   28.9t
Senegal =     2.6t
Slovakia =     2.6t
Thailand =     7.7t
Indonesia = 16.6t

Chart 1 below shows that total Swiss gold imports exports and imports for September.  For that month, they imported 177.8 tonnes — and shipped out 119.4 tonnes.  The export numbers include the numbers posted above. Click to enlarge.

The two charts below show the countries they received gold from — and the countries they shipped gold to…but, as Nick pointed out above, the bar graphs does not show the exports to the seven countries he mentioned in his list above, but those numbers are included in the total export tonnage figures.  Click to enlarge for both.

By the time I crawl out of bed on Tuesday, Lawrie Williams will probably have something written about this on Sharps Pixley — and I’ll post it in tomorrow’s column.

[I noted that there were no exports to either India or Hong Kong in Nick’s chart above — and completely forgot about mentioning it.  It wasn’t until I was cc’d on an e-mail from Lawrie to Nick Laird about it, that it jogged my memory — and I thought I’d add that information to today’s column.  I await developments — and will report back on it in tomorrow’s column.]

I don’t have all that many stories for you today, but I have several video/audio interviews that will keep you off the street for quite a while if you watch/listen to all of them.


S&P, Dow Give Up Overnight Gains as Italian Markets Plunge

One leg of the overnight ramp in U.S. stocks has just broken as Italy’s refusal to budge with Brussels has sent Italian bond (prices) and stocks tumbling, erasing earlier gains and dragging US stocks down…

Italian bond risk is now higher than Friday’s close…and Italian stocks are lower…

Led by Italian banks plunging…the Euro is tumbling…

And that has sparked de-risking in the overnight exuberance of U.S. equities… The Dow and S&P have given up all overnight gains…

As one veteran European FX trader told us “this is far from over.

This multi-chart Zero Hedge story was posted on their website at 9:28 a.m. on Monday morning EDT — and I thank Brad Robertson for this one.  Another link to it is here.

Forget Russia. Here’s the Real Threat to American Elections — Bill Bonner


We join with all Americans today in breathing a sigh of relief; justice is being done.

The bad guys are being hunted down. Our pristine democracy – in its pure white, unblemished, unsullied, and unbelievable gown – is being protected.

Finally, at least one of our foreign enemies has been nabbed by the gendarmes and will soon be railroaded by the courts; others will surely follow.

The perp is Russian national Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova. The feds claim she is responsible for overseeing the funds for a Russian conspiracy to meddle in U.S. elections.

And now, too, Donald Trump and Mike Pence are after the Chinese, who – as we just learned last week – are also trying to subvert the will and wisdom of the American people.

This humorous tongue-in-cheek commentary from Bill was posted on his website very early on Monday morning EDT — and another link to it is here.

As Deep State Hysteria Builds, Trump “Knows This Thing Is Rigged to Blow” — Dr. Dave Janda

Radio host Dr. Dave Janda says everybody in Washington knows the next big crash is right around the corner. It’s been 10 years since the Fed reflated the last meltdown, and Dr. Janda says President Trump is already blaming the Federal Reserve for killing the economy that his policies revived.

Dr. Janda explains, “President Trump has been pointing the finger at the Fed. He’s been pointing the finger at the Fed, and that is exactly where he should be pointing…

The globalist syndicate’s tentacle is the central banking system, and, in particular, in the United States, the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is one of the entities that is directly responsible for this financial mess our country is currently in. You would never see Obama or the Bushes, or Bill Clinton, point at the Fed and say what Trump has said.

Trump said, ‘I think the Fed has gone crazy. I think the Fed is making a mistake. They’re so tight with interest rates. I think the Fed has gone crazy.’ Just the other day, Trump said, ‘My biggest threat is the Fed. . . . The Fed is raising rates too fast, and it’s too independent.’ Now, wait a minute, listen to that. It’s too independent. When was the last time a president of the United States said the Fed was too independent? . . . . Banking groups, that is their priority. So, when the President says the Fed is raising rates too fast, and it’s my biggest enemy, and too independent, what he is saying is they are looking out for their own interests. They are not looking out for the interests of our country or for you or for me or for any American, and he’s right. I don’t know of any other president that has had the guts to say this.

This interview with the good doctor was hosted by Greg Hunter over at the Internet site — and is embedded in this Zero Hedge article from 8:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday evening.  The video interview last for a very long 1 hour and 43 minutes — and another link to it is here.

Jim Rogers: Next big economic collapse ‘may have already started’

Jim Rogers explains how great financial crises always begin quietly where we least expect them and before you know it we have a global economic meltdown.

This 20-minute audio interview was posted on the Internet site on Sunday sometime — and I must admit that I haven’t had the time to listen to it. The actual interview starts at the 1-minute mark.

Putin Lays Down the Law at Valdai — Tom Luongo

Every year Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the Valdai Economic Forum. And each year his talk is important. Putin isn’t one to mince words on important issues.

With tensions between Russia and the West reaching Cold War levels, Valdai represented the first time we’ve heard Putin speak in a long-form discussion since Helsinki and the events thereafter — IL-20, Khashoggi, etc.

So, this talk is worth everyone’s time. And when I say everyone’s I mean every single person who could be affected by the breakdown of the U.S. political system and how that spills over onto Russia’s shores.

In other words, pretty much everyone on the planet.

Because what Putin did at Valdai was to lay down the new rules of conduct in geopolitical affairs. He put the U.S. and European oligarchs I call The Davos Crowd on notice.

This very interesting and worthwhile commentary/opinion piece showed up on the Internet site on Friday sometime — and I thank Larry Galearis for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.

Converting Khashoggi into Cash

The hazard of writing about the Saudis’ absurd gyrations as they seek to avoid blame for the murder of the late, not notably great journalist and Muslim Brotherhood activist Jamal Khashoggi is that by the time a sentence is finished, the landscape may have changed again.

As though right on cue, the narrative has just taken another sharp turn.

After two weeks of denying any connection to Khashoggi’s disappearance, Riyadh has ‘fessed up (sorta) and admitted that he was killed by Saudi operatives but it wasn’t really on purpose:

Y’see, it was kinda’f an ‘accident.’


Y’see the guys were arguing, and … uh … a fistfight broke out.

Yeah, that’s it … a ‘fistfight.’

And before you know it poor Jamal had gone all to pieces.


Must’ve been a helluva fistfight.The figurative digital ink wasn’t even dry on that whopper before American politicos in both parties were calling it out:

This very interesting commentary put in an appearance on Internet site on Sunday sometime.  I thank Roy Stephens for sending it our way — and another link to it is here.

Japan finds itself buried in plastic waste after China stops importing world’s trash

Nations across the globe are beginning to suffer from waste build-up, after China stopped importing recyclable garbage this year. Japan has become the latest country reporting severe recycling industry overload.

China’s ban on imports of 24 types of solid waste materials, such as soda bottles, mixed paper, recycled steel and newsprint, has impacted the recycling chain across the globe. Japan, which last year exported about half of its 1.5 million tons of annual plastic waste, is now piled higher and deeper in its own garbage, with many local governments struggling to cope with the problem.About a quarter of 102 local governments surveyed reported seeing accumulated plastic waste, which in some cases overreached sanitary norms, Environment Ministry data showed this week. At least 34 municipalities noted that they are failing to find new destinations to outsource their plastic after domestic costs of processing waste shot up.

China’s refusal to accept more garbage is overstretching the Japanese recycling industry, with 34.9 percent of companies limiting or considering restricting the quantities of plastics they can accept. To deal with the problem, the Japanese ministry said it will expand domestic capacity to process plastic waste. The government also wants to introduce measures to prevent illegal dumping and expand the use of bioplastics, which are biodegradable.

China, which over the last 25 years was taking in 45 percent of cumulative plastic imports, without a doubt made a huge impact on the global recycling system. While many Chinese companies relocated their operations to Malaysia, the Asian country does not have the capacity to replace China and this week imposed a three-month ban on imports. We “will do our very best to ensure that Malaysia not be the plastic rubbish bin of developed countries,” Science, Technology and Environment and Climate Change minister Yeo Bee Yin said.

I was going to save this for Saturday, but that’s a long way away…so here it is now.  This article appeared on the Internet site very early on Sunday morning Moscow time — and I thank Swedish reader Patrick Ekdahl for sharing it with us.  Another link to it is here.

October 2018 The Gold Chronicles with Jim Rickards and Alex Stanczyk

Topics Include:

* Cyberwarfare Update – Chinese embedding hacking chips onto server mother boards used in American Industry and Department of Defense Systems at the factory level

* Why infrastructure will be most likely targets for cyberwarfare

* How cyber financial-warfare versus financial systems, stock markets, banks is an evolving and real threat

* How physical gold is resilient versus cyber financial-warfare

* IMF Global Financial Stability Report

* How markets are over 90% automated trading, and there are no human market makers available to stabilize falling markets

This 1 hour and 2 minute video interview was posted on the Internet site on Friday sometime — and I thank Harold Jacobsen for sending it our way.  Another link to it is here.

Emerging economies stockpiling gold in expectation of U.S. dollar banking system collapse –- analysts

In the near future we can witness a big change in the rules of the game. At the beginning of the year, developing countries were the first to feel investor panic. If a crisis in Latin America and South Asia doesn’t surprise anybody, now is the time to worry about the largest economies of the world,” Mikhail Mashchenko, an analyst at the social network for investors eToro in Russia and CIS told RT.

The aggressive U.S. policy in recent years has forced some countries to look for an alternative to the dollar and replenish their gold reserves. Worries about the future growth of global economy are an additional incentive for purchases. Many question Donald Trump’s protectionism,” the analyst added.

There are signs that the global financial system dominated by the U.S. dollar could collapse, says financial institute FinIst analyst Denis Lisitsyn. These signs include the uncontrolled emission of money from different countries, an increase in U.S. interest rates, trade wars, the rapid rise in energy prices, geopolitical tensions in Syria, Iraq, the war in Yemen, he says.

Many countries are buying gold in advance. They understand that paper money is constantly eaten up by inflation, equities will sharply fall in price in case of a crisis, and foreign deposits can be arrested, confiscated or frozen,” he said.

This gold-related news item showed up on the Internet site on Saturday morning Moscow time — and is somewhat of a rehash of gold-related stories that showed up on the Internet last week.  I thank George Whyte for sending it our way — and another link to it is here.

Russia accelerates gold purchases Lawrie Williams

The Russian central bank has announced yet another increase in its gold reserves in September – this time it has added a massive 1.2 million troy ounces (37.3 tonnes) to the gold in its Forex holdings. This brings the overall total to 65.5 million ounces (2,037.3 tonnes) and means it has added just short of 200 tonnes of gold to its reserves in the first 9 months of the current year which represents an increased acceleration in its reserve increases over the prior few years. While it remains in fifth place among nationally reported holders of gold to the IMF (we think China in sixth place on its official reporting may actually hold more) it is ever moving closer to the big European holders – Italy and France – in the global gold reserve table which respectively report holdings of 2,451.8 tonnes and 2,436 tonnes.

A month ago we noted that the World Gold Council reported that Central Bank gold purchases rose in the first half of the current year compared with 2017, although once again the biggest reported increases were from Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkey which all seemed to be increasing their gold accumulations. The former two are both significant gold producers in their own right – Russia lying third in the global gold producer table and Kazakhstan 15th (see Top 20 World Gold Producers 2017)and Turkey also mines gold but falls outside the top 20. And now, since then, we have learnt of some significant purchases from countries with little or no gold production – namely India, Poland and, most recently Hungary which increased its gold holdings tenfold by adding 28.4 tonnes of gold in the first two weeks of the current month (see: Central Bank gold buying – New kids on the block). Whether Hungary has continued to purchase any gold since then is so far unreported.

The timings of the seeming acceleration of gold reserve increases is interesting. It coincides with the U.S.’s more aggressive attitude to trade and imposition of sanctions against countries like Russia which it deems to be opposed to it.. It also seems to impact those countries which wish to trade with the sanctions-hit economies in case they also become the victims of U.S. trade sanctions and imposed tariffs. This seems to be leading to countries attempting to reduce the dollar components of their reserves and perhaps replacing them with gold. The E.U. too seems to be taking a strong line against member states(Poland and Hungary are examples) which diverge politically from the consensus policies and rules. There is perhaps a fear here that the E.U. might break up if too many member states fall out with the E.U. hierarchy, which is probably why such a hard line is being taken on Brexit. A consensus deal is in both sides’ interests, but intransigence may well win the day, with adverse economic consequences for the U.K. and the E.U. as a whole.

This worthwhile commentary by Lawrie showed up on the Internet site on Saturday sometime — and another link to it is here.


Today’s ‘critter’ is the maple bug, or boxelder bug.  I saw quite a few of these critters flying around the last few days — and the hotel staff knew exactly what they were.  It’s a North American species of true bug. It is found primarily on boxelder trees, as well as maple and ash trees.  They’re strong-smelling — and will release a pungent and bad-tasting compound upon being disturbed to discourage predation, so few birds or other animals will eat them.  The adults are about 12.5 millimetres (0.50 in) long with a dark brown or black colouration, relieved by red wing veins and markings on the abdomen Click to enlarge.


Although the gold price ‘declined’ as the dollar rally began in early London trading yesterday morning, silver did not cooperate — and had to be hammered lower after the COMEX open.  And even though the dollar index ‘rally’ did not end until noon in New York, the low price ticks in both these precious metals came around 10:30 a.m…ninety minutes earlier.  They both rallied a bit from there, despite what the dollar index was doing.  The price pattern in platinum was even more egregious than it was for silver, as it got hammered pretty hard, because the price had refused to decline before the COMEX open.  Palladium was the outlier again — and what was going on in the currency market had no effect whatsoever on this precious metal, as it rallied strongly, starting a bit before the COMEX open — and away it went from there.

It was just another day where the precious metals had minds of their own, until JPMorgan et al appeared in New York.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, plus copper and WTIC — and except for platinum and palladium, there’s not a lot to see.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature only helps with the four precious metal charts.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I see that the gold price was up a couple of dollars by 10:30 a.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday morning.  It didn’t do much of anything after that until it began to trend higher shortly after 1 p.m. CST.  It shot higher by a bunch of dollars starting minutes after 2 p.m. CST — and is currently up $7.60 the ounce.  The silver price chopped quietly sideways until shortly before 10 a.m. CST — and then got sold lower, with its current low tick being set a few minutes after 2 p.m. over there.  Then, like gold, it jumped higher as well — and from down 5 cents, it’s now up 6 cents an ounce.  Platinum traded flat until sometime after 10 a.m. CST — and from there it was sold lower — and was bounced off its current $816 spot low tick.  Like silver and gold it popped for a few dollars — and is currently up 2 bucks.  Palladium traded sideways until shortly before 11 a.m. CST on their Tuesday morning — and was sold down after that — and is still down 3 dollars an ounce as Zurich opens.

Net HFT gold volume is coming up on 42,500 contracts — and there’s only 973 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in that precious metal. Net HFT silver volume is 10,100 contracts — and there’s only 129 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.

The dollar index chopped mostly quietly sideways once trading began at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York on Monday evening.  It rallied about 15 basis points or so starting shortly before 2 p.m. over there — and ending a few minutes after 2 p.m.  The current high tick was 96.16…but it has given back almost all Tuesday’s gains so far — and is up only 1 basis point about thirty minutes before the London/Zurich opens.

Today, at the close of COMEX trading, is the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report — and I’ll certainly wait until the COMEX close today before making any guesses as to what it might show.

And as I post today’s efforts on the website at 4:02 a.m. EDT, I note that the gold price rally ran into something just minutes after the London open — and is only up $10.10 currently.  Silver is now up 13 cents — and off its high as well, as it’s obvious that it ran into ‘something’ as well. Platinum is up 5 bucks, but has been trading sideways for the last thirty minutes — and palladium has shot higher as well — and up 11 bucks currently.

Gross gold volume has soared to around 77,000 contracts — and net of what little roll-over/switch volume there is, net HFT gold volume is about 74,500 contracts.  Net HFT silver volume is close to 18,300 contracts — and there’s still only 269 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal.  It’s obvious from the price action — and these volume levels, that these rallies are not going unopposed.

The dollar index has been chopping erratically lower ever since its current high tick was set a few minutes after 2 p.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday afternoon.  It has slipped into negative territory by a bit — and is down 10 basis points as of 8:30 a.m. BST in London.

It could prove to be an interesting trading session for the precious metals in New York later this morning.

That’s all for today — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.