28 August 2008

Lower Prices Send Sales of Physical Gold 'Skyrocketing' in India

Although it is tempting to view charts as abstractions with their own sets of rules, we need to remind ourselves occasionally that they are merely representations of the interactions of price with supply and demand in real markets as part of the price discovery process.

The lower price of gold in New York and London has caused sales of physical bullion to 'skyrocket' in India, a significant market.

These sales will tend to underpin the futures markets as more dealers take delivery. And so the physical market will react and possibly provide some discipline to the metal bears of Wall Street.

And this is why any attempt by Central Banks to permanently suppress the price of gold are doomed to eventual failure as long as markets remain open and buyers are allowed to take physical delivery.

Gold Makes Glittering Comeback
29 Aug, 2008, 0606 hrs IST,
Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla
Times of India

MUMBAI: Gold is enjoying a modern-day renaissance in the country. From retail sales of 300-400 kgs of gold bar per day at the start of 2008, demand has surged to 3,000 to 4,000 kgs per day. Barring the slight rise in price at the start of this week, most counters registered an unprecedented sale.

Gold's dip below Rs 12,000 per 10 grams early this month has sparked off widespread buying. From a high of Rs 13,900 for 10 grams around a month and half ago, the price of the yellow metal slipped to Rs 11,850 on Wednesday, ensuring droves of customers.

The demand for the metal has skyrocketed to such an extent that imports for the month of August alone are set to cross 100 tonne. Last August, the country imported 69 tonne of gold.

'' Ten days ago, the price was Rs 11,300 and retail outlets recorded consumer demand many times higher than that witnessed during 'Dhanteras' , the first day of Diwali, or 'Akshaya Tritiya' , when buying gold is considered auspicious,'' said Suresh Hundia of the Bombay Bullion Association.

India, the world's biggest buyer of bullion, is also set to increase its gold imports for the first time in nearly 12 months, analysts told TOI. Given that the first half of 2008 saw volatile gold prices driving down demand, the last few weeks have witnessed a sudden rush of imports....

World's Largest Refiner Runs Out of Krugerrands
By Claudia Carpenter

Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Rand Refinery Ltd., the world's largest gold refinery, ran out of South African Krugerrands after an ``unusually large'' order from a buyer in Switzerland.

The order was for 5,000 ounces and it will take until Sept. 3 for inventories to be replenished, said Johan Botha, a spokesman for Rand Refinery in Germiston, east of Johannesburg. He declined to identify the buyer.

Coins and bars of precious metals are attracting investors as a haven against a sliding dollar and conflict between Russia and its neighbor Georgia. The U.S. Mint suspended sales of one- ounce ``American Eagle'' gold coins, Johnson Matthey Plc stopped taking orders for 100-ounce silver bars at its Salt Lake City refinery and Heraeus Holding GmbH has a delivery waiting list of as long as two weeks for orders of gold bars in Europe...