from Jesse’s Café Américain:
Ronan Manly has published a fascinating analysis of the LBMA gold refining statistic today.
The gold refined by LBMA ‘good delivery’ refiners in Switzerland is sometimes involved in converting existing gold bars into kilobars suitable for export to the Asian Markets.
Ronan Manly offers quite a bit of detail with regard to a very large revision in the LBMA 2013 refining data and suggests that such a large restatement of gold statistics, almost 1/3, without explanation, seems odd.
The supposition is that the LBMA originally counted gold bars that were taken from existing sources, such as their own stores, ETFs, and the Bank of England and re-refined into kilobars for delivery into Asia. They later restated the number lower by 2,200 tonnes. We have not been given the exact reason for this, but one suggestion is that the gold did not come from new mining or traditional recycling.
Depending on how the GFMS and the WGC uses the statistics and sources, this could result in a significant (~2,200 tonnes) understatement of the flow of gold from Western sources into Asia in just one year.
What is the LBMA policy decision here, and what about subsequent years of 2014 and 2015?
What is the source of this gold? And what is so special about 2013?
The one thing that seems significant about 2013 is that the price of gold was hit rather hard by selling, and the total amount of gold held in Western depositories and ETFs dropped considerably with that hit in price. A chart is included below for your convenience.
So far we have more questions than answers. Perhaps more information will be forthcoming. I am given to understand that the LBMA is not open to discussing the matter.
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