August 13, 2022

iShares Silver Trust Holdings Increase Sharply

The iShares Silver Trust (SLV) continued to add large amounts of silver to its holdings while the SPDR Gold Shares Trust (GLD) experienced another small decline in holdings.

Holdings in the GLD declined by 7.28 tonnes compared to a decline of 5.77 tonnes in the previous week.  Total holdings have declined by 5.5% or 69.76 tonnes since the start of the year.  The GLD currently holds 1,210.96 tonnes or 38.93 million ounces of gold valued at $55.9 billion.

The price of the GLD has traded as low as $128 since last October after running up from approximately $110 from the start of 2010.   The GLD hit new highs yesterday at $140.55 before closing at $139.92 reflecting the new all time high in gold prices.  Gold settled at $1437.20 for March delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

GLD - COURTESY STOCKCHARTS.COM

The GLD is structured to allow investors a means of investing in gold without taking physical delivery and to buy or sell that interest by trading the GLD shares on a regulated stock exchange.  The GLD has been wildly successful since its start by allowing widespread beneficial ownership of gold bullion without the costs involved in physical delivery such as insurance and storage.  The GLD has facilitated gold ownership by both large and small investors by supplying liquidity to the market and ease of ownership.

GLD and SLV Holdings (metric tonnes)

2-March-11 Weekly Change YTD Change
GLD 1,210.96 -7.28 -69.76
SLV 10,764.52 +189.29 -157.05

Holdings in the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) increased by 189.29 tonnes over the past week compared to an increase in the previous week of 164.0  tonnes.  The year to date decline of 157.05 tonnes represents a 1.4% drop in silver holdings since the beginning of the year.  The value of the SLV and GLD are structured to reflect the underlying price of gold and silver but an increase in precious metal prices may not necessarily result in greater gold or silver holdings by the Trusts.

The price of SLV hit an all time high yesterday as March silver prices reached a 31-year high of $34.93 per ounce.  As the credit worthiness of many sovereign nations continues to decline, investors continue to see gold and silver as a viable alternative to currencies as a store of value.

The all time high for silver was $48.70 reached in January 1980.

Since last August, silver has dramatically outperformed gold in price appreciation.  Silver has soared over 92% since last August while the price of gold has increased by only 22%.  This dramatic out performance of silver over gold has resulted in the gold silver ratio declining from a multi decade average of 60 to the current level of 41.  Some observers see the decline in the gold silver ratio as an omen for a price pullback in silver while others view it as a fundamental demand shift indicating further sustained price gains for silver.

SLV - COURTESY YAHOO FINANCE

Silver ETF Holdings Soar as Gold ETF Holdings Decline

The SPDR Gold Shares Trust (GLD) holdings declined slightly on the week, while the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) increased its holdings by a substantial 164 metric tonnes

Holdings in the GLD declined by 5.77 tonnes compared to a decline of 2.43 tonnes in the previous week.  Total holdings have declined by 4.9% or 62.48 tonnes since the start of the year.  The GLD currently holds 1,218.24 tonnes or 39.17 million ounces of gold valued at $55.2 billion.

The price of the GLD has traded between $128 and $139 since last October after running up from approximately $110 from the start of 2010.   The GLD was originally launched in November 2004 when the price of gold was trading at $445 per ounce.

GLD - COURTESY STOCKCHARTS.COM

GLD and SLV Holdings (metric tonnes)

23-Feb-11 Weekly Change YTD Change
GLD 1,218.24 -5.77 -62.48
SLV 10,575.23 +164.00 -346.34

Silver holdings in the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) increased by 164 tonnes over the past week compared to an increase in the previous week of 41.01 tonnes.  The year to date decline of 346.34 tonnes represents a 3.2% drop in silver holdings since the beginning of the year.

The Trust is structured so that the value of the iShares will reflect the price of silver owned by the trust.  The price of an iShare should closely track the price of one ounce of silver, less the Trust’s expenses.  However, the price of the SLV will fluctuate during the day as traders buy and sell shares.  If there are many buyers purchasing SLV, the price can rise to a premium over the underlying value of silver as seen in the chart below comparing silver to the SLV.

The amount of silver held by the SLV will vary due to the mechanism by which shares are created or redeemed by the Trust via Authorized Participants.   Authorized Participants are typically large Wall Street Investment firms that will either deliver or take silver from the SLV as they arbitrage to take advantage of premiums or discounts of physical silver to the value of the SLV.  The GLD operates similarly to the SLV which is why an increase in the price of gold and the price of the GLD may not necessarily result in greater gold holdings by the GLD.

SILVER/SLV - COURTESY STOCKCHARTS.COM

The SLV’s closing price of $32.71 on February 23th is 9.2% above last weeks closing price on February 16th and reflects silvers large price increase over the past week as prices broke out to new highs.  Since 2010, the price of silver has more than doubled from the $16 range to the current price of $33.70.

Gold ETF Holdings Stable As Silver ETF Holdings Increase

The SPDR Gold Shares Trust (GLD) holdings declined marginally on the week, while the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) increased its holdings by over 41 metric tonnes.   As both gold and silver prices consolidate in a tight price range, both the GLD and the SLV have experienced a decline in bullion holdings since the beginning of the year.

Holdings in the GLD declined by 2.43 tonnes compared to a decline of .71 tonnes in the previous week.  Total holdings have declined by 4.4% or 56.71 tonnes since the start of the new year.  The GLD currently holds 1,224.01 tonnes or 39.35 million ounces of gold valued at $53.9 billion.

The price of the GLD has traded between $128 and $139 since last October after running up from approximately $110 from the start of 2010.   The GLD was originally launched in November 2004 when the price of gold was trading at $445 per ounce.

GLD and SLV Holdings (metric tonnes)


16-Feb-11 Weekly Change YTD Change
GLD 1,224.01 -2.43 -56.71
SLV 10,411.23 41.01 -510.34

Silver holdings in the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) increased by 41.01 tonnes over the past week compared to a decline in the previous week of 38.38 tonnes.  The year to date decline of 551.35 tonnes represents a 5% drop in silver holdings.

There is no direct correlation between SLV holdings and the price of the SLV due to the mechanism by which shares are created or redeemed by the Trust via Authorized Participants.  The Trust is structured so that the value of the iShares reflects the price of silver owned by the trust.  The price of an iShare should closely track the price of one ounce of silver, less the Trust’s expenses.

The SLV’s closing price of $29.96 on February 16th is only slightly below the all time high of $30.40 reached at the beginning of the year.  Since 2010, the price of silver almost doubled from the $16 range to the current price of $30.67.

GLD and SLV Holdings Decline as Investors Ponder Next Move in Gold and Silver

Both the SPDR Gold Share Trust (GLD) and the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) registered minor declines over the past week.

Holdings in the GLD declined by 2.43 tonnes compared to a decline of 21.85 tonnes in the previous week.  Since the start of the year, total holdings have declined by 4.2% or 53.57 tonnes.  The GLD currently holds 39.5 million ounces of gold.

The holdings of the GLD currently have a market value of $52.7 billion, making the GDL a very significant presence in the gold market.   The market cap of the GLD  far exceeds that of major gold producers such as Goldcorp (GG) at $30 billion, Newmont Mining (NEM) at $27.4 billion and Randgold (GOLD) at $7.1 billion.

Gold has now made three failed attempts to decisively pierce the $1400 level since last November, forming a triple top in the process.  The failure to breakout to new highs and the large price gain of $250 per ounce since last July has motivated some nervous selling by gold investors.  A look at the one year chart shows that gold’s short term momentum has faltered as prices breached the 14 day moving average.  The next important test will be at the 200 day moving average which gold has traded above for the past two years.

1 YEAR GOLD PRICE - COURTESY KITCO.COM

Despite the recent minor setback in gold prices, the long term trend of gold remains intact technically and fundamentally.

GLD and SLV Holdings (metric tonnes)

2-Feb-2011

Weekly Change

YTD Change

GLD

1,227.15

-2.43

-53.57

SLV

10,400.60

-47.10

-520.97

Silver holdings in the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) declined by 47.1 tonnes over the past week compared to a decline in the previous week of 127.6 tonnes.  The year to date decline of 520.97 tonnes represents a 4.7% drop in silver holdings which trails the 7.8% year to date decline in the price of silver.  The SLV has declined by 9% from its high of $30.40 at the beginning of the year.  After a huge gain of 67% in the price of silver since late last year, it is normal to see price consolidation before another advance.

In this writer’s opinion we have not seen a parabolic blow off type price move, nor have we seen the excited entry of first time silver buyers lured by stories of rising prices.  One of the sentiment gauges that I use involve noting how many of my friends and clients ask or offer unsolicited advice on a specific investment category.  Thus far, not even one person has mentioned silver.  Despite the huge advance in silver prices, public awareness seems minimal, implying long term bullishness.

SLV - courtesy yahoo finance

Will Speculative Positions in the GLD and SLV Accelerate a Precious Metals Selloff?

Given the recent pullback in the prices of gold and silver, it was not unexpected to see another decline in the holdings of both the SPDR Gold Shares Trust (GLD) and the iShares Silver Trust (SLV).

Holding in the GLD declined by 21.85 metric tonnes, compared to a decline last week of 20.04 tonnes.  The year to date decline now totals 51.14 metric tonnes, representing 1.8 million ounces of gold worth about $2.4 billion.  GLD holdings had declined by 39.75 metric tonnes in 2010 after reaching record high of 1,320.47 tonnes on June 29.

Fluctuations in the holdings in the SPDR Gold Shares Trust are not always directly correlated to price movements in the metal.  As holdings were declining from all time highs in late June, the price of gold continued to soar another $200 per ounce from the $1200 level in July to $1400 by October.

Some have expressed concerns that declines in the price of gold may be compounded if large positions in the GLD held by speculators are sold. Since late 2008, the GLD has doubled in value as gold prices soared.  With the GLD holding a huge $52.5 billion worth of gold, any large scale liquidation of positions would certainly seem to have the impact of accelerating a price correction in gold.

1 Year Gold - Courtesy kitco.com

GLD and SLV Holdings (metric tonnes)

Jan 26, 2011 Weekly Change YTD Change
GLD 1,229.58 -21.85 -51.14
SLV 10,447.70 -127.62 -473.87

Silver holdings in the iShares Silver Trust declined by 1.2% for the week, representing reduction of 127.62 tonnes.  The year to date decline has now reached 473.87 tonnes, or a 4.3% from the beginning of the year.  Meanwhile, the price of silver has seen a 10% drop from its high of $30.70.

The SLV represents an easy vehicle for hot money to jump into the silver market and purchases by the SLV have contributed to demand for silver.

Increased silver purchases by the SLV helped to propel silver prices higher last year, but this same process can work in reverse.   Large sell orders by speculative holders of the SLV could result in a sharp decline in the price of silver as the SLV liquidates its holdings.

One year silver - Courtesy kitco.com

Gold and Silver ETF Holdings Continue To Decline

As gold and silver continue to trade in a narrow range, investors have reduced their holdings in both the SPDR Gold Shares Trust (GLD) and the iShares Silver Trust (SLV).

Holdings in the GLD declined by 20.04 metric tonnes over the past week, a substantial decrease compared to last week’s reduction of 1.21 tonnes.  The record high holdings of 1,320.47 tonnes in the GLD was reached last year on June 29 when gold bullion was trading in the $1250 range.

GLD and SLV Holdings (metric tonnes)

Jan 19, 2011 Weekly Change YTD Change
GLD 1,251.43 -20.04 -29.29
SLV 10,575.32 -150.41 -346.25

The price of gold has now dipped decisively below its 50 day moving average but is still well above the 200 day moving average.   Last year’s July price correction in gold to slightly above the 200 day moving average was followed by a rally of $260 in the price of gold.  A pullback to the 200 day moving average would result in a price decline of about $100 for gold.

Gold Chart - Courtesy stockcharts.com

The SLV declined by 150.41 tonnes compared to a reduction of 191.46 tonnes in the previous week.  Total silver held by the Silver Trust amounts to 340.004 million ounces.   Silver has had a huge price move since last September when it was trading in the $18 per ounce range.  Precious metals can exhibit volatile price movements, but so far silver continues to consolidate and has surrendered only a small part of its gains from the $31 per ounce level reached at the beginning of the year.

Silver - Courtesy stockcharts.com

Gold and Silver ETF Holdings Decline As Precious Metals Continue Sideways Price Action

After major upward price movement during the later half of 2010, both the SLV and GLD continue their sideway price action.

As gold and silver prices continue to consolidate, gold holdings in the SPDR Gold Shares Trust (GLD) and silver holdings in the iShares Silver Trust (SLV)  both declined.

The iShares Silver Trust, the largest exchange traded fund back by silver, has a market value of $10.2 billion.  After a one year return of almost 80%, the SLV showed a weekly decline of 191.46 metric tonnes from the previous week.  The SLV now holds a total of 10,725.73 metric tonnes of silver or 344.840 million ounces.

The holdings in the GLD declined by 1.21 metric tonnes in the past week to 1,271.47.  The record high holdings of 1,320.47 tonnes in the GLD was reached last year on June 29 when gold bullion was trading in the $1250 range.

Despite the lack of correlation between gold prices and gold holdings of the GLD, investing in the GLD has produced approximately similar returns to owning bullion, disregarding transaction costs.  The price gain during 2010 was approximately 28% for both gold bullion and the GLD.   For those who choose to avoid holding the physical metal, the GLD was an excellent substitute choice for gold bullion in 2010.

GLD and SLV Holdings (metric tons)

Jan 12, 2011 Weekly Change YTD Change
GLD 1,271.47 -1.21 -9.25
SLV 10,725.73 -191.46 -195.84

GOLD - COURTESY STOCKCHARTS.COM

GLD - COURTESY STOCKCHARTS.COM

Silver ETF Anomalies, National Gold Exchange, Regan Gold and Silver Coins

I’m still catching up after a vacation in Europe. For now here are links to some recommended articles about gold, silver, and precious metals from around the net.

Multiple Anomalies Detected in Silver ETFs

A recently released working paper on statistical and factual anomalies in silver ETFs including internal duplicates, weight duplicates, statistical clustering, and cross-reference duplicates. From the conclusions section: “The only way for all of these anomalies to occur together as noted in this paper, is via systemic fraud or gross accounting error bordering on jaw-dropping incompetence.”

Greenlight Holds Bullion

A $5 billion hedge-fund firm switched its entire holding in the Gold ETF to physical gold bullion. During the first quarter the firm held 4.2 million shares of the SPDR Gold Trust.

New law boosts gold bar sale in South Africa

Until recently it was illegal for South Africans to hold unwrought gold, such as gold in bar form. The law change has sparked a surge in new bullion demand.

National Gold Exchange Inc of Tampa

National Gold Exchange, one of the world’s largest coin wholesalers, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company has more than $50 million in debts.

Catching the Gold Bug

From a few weeks ago. The Wall Street Journal ran this high profile piece on gold investing. Someone interviewed for the article said: “When you’re in uncharted economic waters, people buy gold.”

Ronald Regan Gold and Silver Coins Proposed

Should Ronald Reagan appear on gold and silver commemorative coins? Over the years there have apparently been several proposals to put his likeness on a coin, but none ever gained sufficient support to become law.