Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Chinese Nickel Imports Jump to 6-Year High as Shortage Looms

Chinese Nickel Imports Jump to 6-Year High as Shortage Looms

China imported the most refined nickel in six years in a further sign that the world’s biggest consumer is drawing on global supply. Futures rose 2.4 percent in London.

Inbound shipments of the metal used to produce stainless steel surged 67 percent to 38,545 tons in June from the previous month, the highest since July 2009, and were more than three times the level a year earlier, Chinese customs data show.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. are bullish on prices amid prospects for rising Chinese demand. Macquarie Group Ltd. sees a global shortage which may cut inventories further from a record. Stockpiles in London Metal Exchange sheds have already fallen to the lowest in almost two months. Some imports may have been for delivery against the first nickel contract to expire on the Shanghai bourse, said Celia Wang from Tianjin Zhongwei Group’s investment department.

“Huge imports arrived in China from LME warehouses as traders seek profits by delivering against the first settlement of a Shanghai nickel futures contract,” said Wang, the general manager. “Refined nickel imports are expected to remain at a high level into July.”

The Shanghai Futures Exchange started nickel trading in March and the July contract was the first expiry. The bourse is accepting metal from Moscow-based OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the top supplier, for settlement to ease concern about shortages.
Goldman, Citigroup

Prices climbed 2.4 percent to $11,980 a ton in London on Tuesday, the highest level since July 6, before trading at $11,875. Goldman expects rates to increase to $14,000 as the market heads toward a deficit next year, analysts including Yubin Fu wrote in a report dated July 6. Citigroup predicts a 2015 average price of $13,960 and maintains a bullish outlook.

Imports of ferronickel rose more than threefold on year to 62,511 tons, another sign China is seeking foreign supply.

An Indonesian ban on exports of nickel ore at the start of 2014 spurred China to stockpile the material and boost supplies from the Philippines, the only other major source. Inventories of nickel ore in China are now at their lowest since September 2011, according to data from Beijing Custeel E-Commerce Co.

China imported more than 100,000 tons of refined nickel in the first half for the first time since 2009 when buyers took advantage of a slump in demand after the financial crisis.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

New Engelhard Australia Silver Bullion Bars

Engelhard Australia is back! This historic brand is once again producing investment bullion bars. Engelhard silver bars are attractively cast with the modern Engelhard Australia logo on the front, and the weight and fineness on the back.

Every bar is Every bar is serialised and individually boxed in a protective cardboard shipper for protection.
These bars are available in 5oz & 10oz
New Engelhard, engelhard Australia, australia Silver, silver Bullion, bullion Bars
- See more at:

New Engelhard Australia Silver Bullion Bars

Engelhard Australia is back! This historic brand is once again producing investment bullion bars. Engelhard silver bars are attractively cast with the modern Engelhard Australia logo on the front, and the weight and fineness on the back.

Every bar is Every bar is serialised and individually boxed in a protective cardboard shipper for protection.
These bars are available in 5oz & 10oz
New Engelhard, engelhard Australia, australia Silver, silver Bullion, bullion Bars
- See more at:

Monday, July 13, 2015

Perth Mint Gold and Silver Bullion Sales Jump in June

Demand for Australian bullion coins surged in June, the latest Perth Mint figures show. Gold sales scored their highest level since March and silver sales moved the quickest since April. Bullion sales did retreat from a year earlier, however.

Perth Mint sales of gold coins and gold bars advanced 31,019 ounces last month, rallying 43.1% from the 21,671 ounces sold in May but down 21.3% from the 39,405 ounces delivered in June 2014. Gold sales through the first half of the year tally to 168,650 ounces, off 30% from last year’s starting six-month total of 240,991 ounces.

Perth Mint silver coins at 384,586 ounces in June jumped 13.9% from the prior month’s 337,511 ounces yet slipped 34.4% from sales of 586,358 ounces in June of last year. For the first half of 2015, silver sales combine to 2,810,994 ounces for a drop of 18% from the same six-month start in 2014 when sales reached 3,428,336 ounces.

Perth Mint Gold and Silver Sales by Month

Below is a monthly breakdown of Perth Mint bullion sales from June 2014 to June 2015.

Perth Mint Bullion Sales (in troy ounces)
June 2015384,58631,019
May 2015337,51121,671
April 2015472,27326,545
March 2015638,55734,260
February 2015392,11431,981
January 2015585,95323,174
December 2014477,73140,211
November 2014851,83649,904
October 2014655,88155,350
September 2014756,83968,781
August 2014818,85636,369
July 2014577,98825,103
June 2014586,35839,405

United States Mint Bullion Sales in June

U.S. Mint bullion sales in June soared over the prior month and the year ago levels. The agency’s core American Gold Eagles at 76,000 ounces leapt 253.5% higher than May sales and jumped 56.7% higher than sales in June 2014. Its flagship American Silver Eagles at 4,840,000 ounces in June surged 139.2% from the prior month and rallied 79.8% from a year ago.

Pacfico Minerals Surges on Copper Hits

Core from Coppermine Creek

Three holes drilled at the Coppermine Creek prospect intersected significant intervals of disseminated chalcopyrite and bands of semi-massive chalcopyrite.

One of the holes returned veins and disseminated chalcopyrite from 38-67m, with the interval from 67-73m corresponding to the Gordons Fault and containing bands of semi-massive chalcopyrite, as well as chalcopyrite fracture fill and disseminations.

The company said the chalcopyrite was associated with only minor pyrite and returned values of more than 25% using a hand-held XRF over widths of up to 30cm.

Assays are expected within a fortnight.

Airborne electromagnetics indicate a 3km by 1km alteration and mineralisation system extending away from the Gordons Fault to the southwest, with further drilling planned to test it.

Pacifico has also started drilling the Bing Bong prospect with the assistance of a NT government grant.

Borroloola West was one of the projects Sandfire floated on in 2004 but the company farmed it out to Pacifico in 2013.

Pacifico expects to earn 51% of the project by the end of the year by spending $A1.5 million under the first phase of the agreement.

The company can earn an additional 19% by spending a further $2.5 million and can get to 80% by sole-funding a bankable feasibility study or spending another $3 million.

Shares in Pacifico jumped 130% to 3.2c, while Sandfire shares gained 1.4% to $5.71

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Shanghai Stock Market Crash and China Gold Demand

What Does it mean for the future of the gold market?

At present, up to 12 trillion yuan stays in domestic residents' saving accounts. The launch of individual gold investment, therefore, will allow residents to change currency assets into gold assets. At the macro level, it will expand channels for changing savings into investment, thus adjusting the money supply; in the micro aspect, allowing citizens to trade and keep gold can improve social welfare, benefiting both the country and the population.

Moreover, with the dual attributes of common commodity and currency commodity, gold is a desirable instrument for hedging. Therefore, developing gold trade for individuals is practical." – Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor, the People's Bank of China.

Shanghai stocks have fallen over 30% since mid-June. The equivalent in U.S. terms would be for the DJIA to fall 6000 points to the 11,000 level – a crash by any definition. Most of the commentary on this important subject has centered around the potential contagion effect for stock markets in the rest of Asia and beyond. There is another aspect to the crash worth considering though, and that has to do with the effect it will have on Chinese gold demand.

The Chinese people, it is well known, already have a cultural affinity to gold. That attachment just received a shot of adrenaline. Prior to June, trading volumes on the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) were already running 20% higher than the previous year. Now, with crash psychology affecting thinking up and down the spectrum of investors, SGE is reporting volumes off the charts. In early July, Want China Times reported that "SGE posted a record trading volume of 48.33 million grams in a single day in late June." (48.3 metric tonnes, a big number.)

Typically stock market crashes inspire gold demand. In the case of China, where the government and central bank encourage citizen gold ownership as a matter of public policy, that lesson could become enshrined in the national psyche. The important consideration for investors elsewhere around the globe is what effect even stronger gold demand from China will have on the gold price both now and in the future.

Flow of physical metal between buyers and sellers will govern prices in China not paper trades

Ever since 2011 when China's demand began to ratchet up, clients have asked how the price of gold could be stagnant to down under the circumstances. The short answer to that question is that price discovery for gold does not occur in the physical market, but in the multi-trillion dollar leveraged paper trade in London and New York – a volume that dwarfs the physical delivery market. Now China is about to challenge that price discovery mechanism through significant infrastructure changes slated to take effect by the end of the year.

This new construct has as its base China's fundamental understanding and goals with respect to gold as summarized by Peoples Bank of China governor Zhou Xiaochuan in our masthead quote above; its affinity for delivered physical ownership, as opposed to paper-based metal; and, the official measures it has undertaken to make inroads into the international gold market's price discovery mechanism.

To gain a better understanding of how China is likely to affect price discovery in the gold market, let's start with something of interest that surfaced as a result of the recent Shanghai crash. Financial Times reported rumors floating the markets that Goldman Sachs was responsible for manipulating stocks downward. Officials denied those rumors and a spokesman for the exchange stated that "foreign investors with access to the futures market via theQualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) program were only permitted to use futures for hedging operations and are not allowed to make directional bets. 

All recent trades by QFIIs complied with regulations." Of course if any manipulation of stocks were to occur, it would be executed in the leveraged futures market where bets can be placed at pennies on the dollar.

Up until I read that quote I was unaware of the strict procedures governing foreign trading on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE), China's only futures trading venue. A further investigation, helped along with some links from Koos Jansen, the Netherlands based expert on China's burgeoning gold market, revealed stringent rules governing trade on the SHFE for domestic participants as well, though not quite as stringent as the rules for foreigners. 

At the heart of those rules, SHFE imposes strict position limitations and margin requirements on traders in order to keep price speculation (or directional bets to use its term) to a minimum. Futures trading in China, clearly is meant to serve as an adjunct to the physical market instead of the other way around as it is in western gold trading centers. 

Hedging is maximized. Speculation is minimized. Leverage is controlled within reasonable parameters.

2015 Guy Harvey The Old Man and the Sea 10 oz 999 silver bar

Introducing the 2015 Guy Harvey "The Old Man and the Sea" 10 oz silver bar.

Famed marine artist and photographer Guy Harvey© has brought his artwork to a new medium - silver! Harvey was working on his PhD in marine biology when his one-man exhibition of sketches based on "The Old Man and the Sea" propelled him to international attention in 1985.

Captivated by Hemingway's timeless story, the Jamaican native returns to the subject with this scene of the old man Santiago battling the blue marlin. The front of this .999 fine silver bar depicts Santiago standing in his rowboat as the majestic blue marlin catapults into the air near him. The back features another Guy Harvey© design, of an antique Spanish map of Florida.

Both sides contain the Guy Harvey© logo, while the front includes the title "The Old Man and The Sea" and the weight and purity of 10 oz .999 fine silver.

This is a silver bar like no other, authorized by Guy Harvey© himself. Bring home this treasure for yourself, a Hemingway fan, or a lover of marine artwork. The Guy Harvey© "The Old Man and The Sea" 10 oz silver bar is sure to stand out!

As Silver Prices Fall, U.S. Mint’s Silver Bullion Coins Sell Out

Investors still like silver—so much so that the U.S. Mint sold out of its American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins.

The Mint announced the temporary sellout on Tuesday. It said that the U.S. Mint facility at West Point, N.Y., continues to produce the coins and resumption of sales is expected in about two weeks.

The shortages comes at a time when silver futures prices SIU5, +1.49% are falling.On Tuesday, they sank 5% to $14.969 an ounce, the lowest settlement for a most-active contract since 2009. They recovered a bit on Wednesday, though year to date prices have lost more than 3%.

“Silver demand has really come back in the last two weeks, on the break below $16 per ounce,” Adrian Ash, head of research at BullionVault, told MarketWatch.

BullionVault’s Silver Investor Index released Tuesday rose to 56.7 in June from below 50 in May, as the number of private investors buying silver climbed to its highest level in 9 months, while the number of sellers fell to its lowest level in 3 years. The index shows the balance of net buyers over net sellers.

In a note Wednesday, Capital Economics’s Julian Jessop, pointed out that silver has been a “notable casualty of the selloff in commodity markets in the last few days.”

That usually happens when prices of other metals, especially gold but also industrials, are falling, he said. But “assuming metals in general recovery over the remainder of the year, as we expect, silver could now be set to shine.”