June 20, 2024

iShares Silver Trust Holdings Decline

The iShares Silver Trust (SLV) saw silver holdings slump on the week while holdings of the SPDR Gold Shares Trust (GLD) increased.

SLV holdings dropped by 192.74 tonnes on the week after adding 22.93 tonnes in the previous week.  Total holdings of the SLV amount to 10,969.71 tonnes or 352.7 million ounces of silver valued at $14.2 billion.  There is not always a direct correlation between the movement in silver prices and the amount of silver held by the trust.  For example, the total silver holdings of the SLV have increased by only .4% since the start of the year, while silver prices have increased by 32% over the same period.

There is a direct correlation between the price of the SLV and the price of silver.  The iShares Silver Trust was structured to track the price movement in silver bullion and it has achieved that result.  Since the inception of the SLV in April 2006, the annualized total return of the SLV has been 25.17% compared to an annualized total return for silver of 25.79%, the difference being primarily attributable to sponsor fees of .5% a year.

GLD and SLV Holdings (metric tonnes)

13-April-2011 Weekly Change YTD Change
GLD 1,212.96 +7.49 -67.76
SLV 10,969.71 -192.74 +48.14

The SLV has experienced a huge long term increase in silver holdings based on investor demand.  Since the inception of the trust in April 2006, total holdings of the SLV have exploded by almost 1,600% from 653.17 tonnes to the current total of 10,969.71 tonnes.

Silver experienced price volatility during the past week but ended up $.59 per ounce at Wednesday’s close from the prior week.  Earlier in the week, silver saw a brief pullback from its highs as investors took profits in the commodity sector.  In addition, the silver market was spooked by word of an investor taking a large bearish options position in the May SLV put contracts.


Holdings of the GLD increased by 7.49 tonnes on the week.  The GLD currently holds 1,212.96 tonnes or 39.0 million ounces of gold valued at $56.8 billion.  As measured by the London PM Fix Price, gold declined by a modest $4 per ounce from its April 6th closing price.

GFMS,  a prestigious metals consulting firm based in London,  issued a bullish forecast for gold prices during 2011.  Barring a major rise in interest rates or a strong rally in the US dollar, GFMS is predicting that gold will reach $1,600 per ounce by the end of the year.  GFMS based its bullish forecast on very easy monetary policies, surging rates of inflation in Asian economies and continuing investment demand for gold.