Gold Digger: US retail demand for gold, silver bars ‘almost insatiable’, Metals Focus says
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Our Gold Digger column wraps all the news driving ASX stocks with exposure to precious metals.
Much of the world’s gold production touches Swiss soil.
The central European country is the world’s biggest gold refiner – four of the biggest refineries are Swiss – which also makes it the largest importer and exporter.
In 2020, Switzerland imported $US87.4bn and exported $US68.5bn in gold, according to international trade data site OEC.
This week, Swiss customs released their trade statistics for May, which show some interesting trends.
The headline numbers are this: gold bullion shipments for May partially recovered from April’s depressed levels, culminating in a year-to-date gain of 5% on the same period last year to 558 tonnes.
This is the highest January to May total since 2018, says Metals Focus.
While trade flows fluctuated wildly – China went from major importer to dead quiet during the lockdowns, for example – the enduring popularity of gold as an investment in the US is a trend worth highlighting, it says.
“On a year-to-date basis, [US imports] surged by 170% to 103t,” Metals Focus says.
“… the total is the second highest on record.
“This partly reflects the strength of minted bar and coin demand in the US, which has remained exceptionally healthy over most of the past two years.”
And for the second year, the US remained the largest single destination for Swiss silver bullion, accounting for around 30% of the total.
This compares with less than 1% over much of the previous decade.
“Even though these deliveries were down y/y they remained historically high, reflecting strong shipments of minted silver bars into the US, to meet the country’s almost insatiable appetite for retail investment products,” Metals Focus says.
Gold bugs once again appear to have lost patience, OANDA’s Jeffrey Halley says, as gold fell by 0.82% to $US1822.50 overnight, edging slightly higher to $US1824.00/oz in Asia on Friday.
“Probably most concerning, was that gold fell as the US Dollar remained mostly unchanged and US yields had another big move lower,” Halley says.
“Even cryptos managed to move slightly higher overnight.
“With that in mind, it appears that gold is going into the end of the week looking vulnerable, although I am not betting against the $1800.00 to $1870.00 range trade continuing.”
Gold has resistance at $US1860.00 and $US1880.00, the latter appearing an insurmountable obstacle for now, Halley says.
“On the topside, I would need to see a couple of daily closes above $US1900.00 to get excited about a reinvigorated rally,” he says.
Here’s how ASX-listed gold & silver stocks are performing:
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