We noted here that the plunge in the paper price of gold (and silver) had prompted considerable renewed demand for physical and now it seems the scramble among the “more stable investor base” is increasing. The shake out of ETFs and futures has left the Australian mint short of deliverables and Japanese and Chinese gold retailers seeing a “frenzied” surge in demand. The customers are not just the ‘rich’ or ‘elderly’; in China “they tend to wear water shoes and come directly from the market…;” in Australia, “the volume of business… is way in excess of double what we did last week,… there’s been people running through the gate,” and Japanese individual investors doubled gold purchases yesterday at Tokuriki Honten, the country’s second-largest retailer of the precious metal. The panic selling by a weaker ‘imminent inflation-based’ investor base has sparked physical shortages – “there’s been significant sales made as people see this as great value.” It seems our previous discussions of a rotation from paper to physical were correct and this physical demand will eventually leak back into the paper markets.
Australia (via The Age):
Gold sales from Perth Mint, which refines nearly all of the nation’s bullion, have surged after prices plunged, adding to signs that the metal’s slump to a two-year low is spurring increased demand.
“The volume of business that we’re putting through is way in excess of double what we did last week,” Treasurer Nigel Moffatt said, without giving precise figures. “There’s been people running through the gate.”
“There’s been significant sales made as people see this as great value,” Mr Moffatt said. “Gold owners are very reactive to significant market movements.”
The Perth Mint’s sales of gold coins climbed 49 per cent to 97,541 ounces in the three months ended March 31 from a year earlier
China (via China News):
Beijing gold store two hours to sell 20,000 grams of gold bullion trading volume of nearly 200 million
and (via YCWB):
People have to rush to buy gold, … gold bullion out of stock yesterday, investors yesterday to spend as much as 600 million yuan to buy 20 kilograms of gold bars
The mad pursuit gold insufficiency is not just a game for the rich. Yesterday, the Yangcheng Evening News reporter learned from the East flowers to Bay store, many growers, pork traffickers, fishmonger recently put down his job went straight to the mall to buy gold.
Japan (via Reuters):
Some Japanese also harbor fears that the expansionary monetary and fiscal policies dubbed “Abenomics”, coupled with a national debt more than twice as large as annual economic output, could trigger a crisis down the line.
Skeptics about the radical attempt to reflate the economy — or those simply worried that a slide in the yen that began in anticipation of Abe’s election victory last December will continue unabated — are still buying gold, dealers say.
“Investors in gold are convinced that Japan’s fiscal position will get worse,” said Wakako Harada, general manager of Japan‘s top bullion house, Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo.
“What I see at our counter is that more people are getting worried about Japan. That’s why we are seeing a lot of buying.”
“In contrast this time, we are seeing interest to buy on dips to take exposures to gold,”
“Investors are using this opportunity to buy gold to diversify beyond bonds, stocks and the yen currency as Japan‘s fiscal situation could deteriorate.”