Physical silver running out because its spot price does not reflect true investment demand

Posted on 06 October 2011 with 11 comments from readers

Several readers of ArabianMoney have written to us over the past two weeks to express their astonishment at the current price of silver because demand where they live is so high that stocks have run out.

Consider this comment: ‘I used to buy silver from a shop in Kobar in Saudi. From the last four weeks they said they ran out of silver. I cannot find anyone who sells silver in Saudi now. I asked them from where do they get their silver. They said the UAE. The problem is they only have 1kg bars…and I still cannot find any supplier.’

No stock

Well don’t bother coming to the UAE. Our information is that the 1kg bars mentioned here and featured in a video on the website last month (click here) are all sold out too. We’ve also had feedback about low or no stock in Texas and Australia from big private bullion dealers there.

Now what would normally happen when a commodity is in short supply is that the price would go up to encourage sellers to put some more into the market. That is presently not happening because the silver price is being artificially suppressed in the Comex futures market by the bullion banks acting on instructions from the Fed presumably, so why would you sell that silver cheaply if you happened to own some?

But something has to give and it is the price of physical silver rather than the Comex price of the shiniest of metals. If you can find any silver these days you will pay quite a substantial premium over the spot price. But pay it because that is probably still a bargain compared to where silver prices are going.

The truth is that silver is a rare metal, more rare than gold. Silver reserves have been estimatated at one-hundredth of gold reserves. Silver is after all consumed by industrial processes and reserves have dwindled over the years because the price has been kept so low for so long by market manipulation. Why is that?

Silver price fixing

This market manipulation dates back to the last silver boom of the late 70s and the spectacular $50 spike in the price in 1980. The central banks then saw suppression of the silver and gold price as a part of their war on inflation. They clearly lost that war but kept gold and silver prices down until this decade.

Thirty-one years later and we are still not back to those silver prices despite a seven-fold increase in the global money supply. On that reckoning silver ought to be $350 an ounce, not $30 today.

However, the snap back for silver prices now has the capacity to be sensational, and far beyond the mini-spike in the first few months of this year from $30 to almost $50 again. So those who go seeking out physical silver to buy at current prices are going to be very well rewarded and soon, not in 31 years!

ArabianMoney continues to stick with silver as our top tip for 2011 (click here) and that means a big rebound in the price before the end of the year.

Silver prices are still trading range bound, seemingly ignoring the shortage of supply, but analyst feel that the prices which are going here are driven mostly by more than what is underground, a annual of 4.1 % decline in the production has not directly led to the fact that there is more above the ground.