Eric Sprott: Global Gold Demand Is Overwhelming Supply

Precious metals have had an especially tough go of it over the past month. Both gold and silver are back in price territory last seen in 2010.

Eric Sprott returns to the program to discuss the facts as we know them in this market, and what’s likely to happen from here. Specifically, he explains the tremendous imbalance currently seen between global supply and demand for precious metals. In his view, prices will have to correct upwards — prodigiously — to bring the two back in alignment:

We see almost 60 tons a week being delivered on the Shanghai Gold Exchange. Well, you start annualizing 60 tons a week you’re talking 3,000 tons a year now. We saw 94 tons of gold go into India in September. We saw the Russian Central Bank buy 37 tons of gold in September. I mean I could come up with numbers that might suggest that we’ve got 400 tons a week of demand. And we only got 230 tons a week of mine supply. And I’ve only gotten to three data points. I haven’t even gone to the rest of the world.

We’ve now created a situation unfortunately in the market where between high frequency trading and algorithms and interference by the planers they can make things happen that looks like everything is OK. And it’s the “OK” part where I think we can really relate to gold not being allowed to go up. Because that’s the canary in the coal mine. If gold was above $2,000 we’d all be wondering: What the hell is going on here?  And so they haven’t allowed it to happen.

But by suppressing the price — and one of the great things about a price of $1,100/oz is that you can buy a lot of gold at $1,100 versus $1,900 — you can buy almost 50%-60% more gold than you could three years ago with the same amount of money. And you can buy 3x the silver. With the same amount of money!

So, they’re just making the market so small that sooner or later somebody is going to figure it out. And take it on. It’s just such a small market. Imagine if the whole inventory is only $15 billion. What the hell is $15 billion in this day and age? It’s nothing. And a lot of that inventory is already held by people like us and like-minded people where it’s not coming back on the market. So, I’m kind of very hopeful that things are going to work out for us. I know it’s just been a depressing time, in particularly for people like myself and our customers who are in the mining stocks — the miners have just been eviscerated here. But, by the same token if the market comes back to its sense and gold and silver move up from here, there’s going to be a lot of money made in precious metals equities.

I think a true price recovery has got to come from the physical market first. When the mint says they don’t have any more silver coins, that’s a good sign there’s more demand than supply. Maybe folks start figuring it out then.

To me, the biggest win will be if there is a delivery failure. If somebody says we were promised some gold we didn’t get it. And that could happen — I mean we just can’t have China continue to buy 60 tons a week. That’s impossible.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris’ interview with Eric Sprott (38m:46s):

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  • jadan

    Demand for gold is outstripping supply? OMG! When was this not true?