Hoarding in the UK (?)

Speaking of hoarding precious metals...

Stacking is an evergreen topic here on TFMR. The Chinese, Russian and other select Central Banks do it. Turdites most certainly do it. I would venture that a non-trivial portion of ZH visitors do it. Apparently JPM is doing it. Some say Soros is doing it (via derivative financial instruments aimed at controlling physical supply). While in terms of the general population it seems way too early to say it is becoming all the rage, but it does appear that the potential importance of having a ‘stack’ is slowly becoming more visible. Recently, most of the attention has been on the King of Metals, what (if anything) is to be known about his little sister?

A few months ago, fellow Turdite Byzantium brought up a question that I have been trying to answer off and on ever since – what’s going on with UK and silver?

The chart below shows the cumulative (inverted) trade balance for the UK, in million troy ounces – the imports minus the exports, from 1998. The data is source Her Majesty’s Office for National Statistics. The UK does not produce silver domestically in appreciable amounts, according to the British Geological Survey – so (nearly) all silver in country is sourced from elsewhere. And it seems like the UK has been importing and holding onto a SERIOUS amount of silver – especially since the previous large cascade down in silver prices took place in January 2012. As it stands today, the UK seems to have imported and kept a silver hoard comparable to the cumulative US silver production since 1998 (the date from which trade balance data is available).

Bear in mind, US silver mine production is merely a point of reference, the US in fact gets more than double this amount of silver from silver refining/recycling and quintuple from imports. You can find a lot of information at the USGS and BGS sites. I would especially recommend a perusal of the Mineral Commodities Profile for Silver, by W.C. Butterman and H.E. Hilliard (2004) and the annually published Mineral Commodity Summaries (2013 report here) for more background information.

The 318 million troy ounces (purportedly) stored in trust for the SLV account for about half of the cumulative trade imbalance (and you can see the inventory accumulation line up nicely with the corresponding part of the silver graph) – but where are the OTHER 300m troy ounces going?

This is not intended to be a shocking expose, and I have no grand or explosive claims to make. I cannot even claim it is significant – there are any number of things I may be overlooking, or making false assumptions about. This is merely something that has been puzzling me for quite a while. Why has the UK hoovered up all this silver? Why since January 2012? The parabolic ‘accumulation’ seems to have paused in April 2013 – why?

Is there a newfound Britannia Mania? Was it in preparation for The Wedding of the Century (my GOD those are ugly coins)? Are we getting ready to put the ‘sterling’ back into the ‘pound’? (for an excellent illustration of the latter, check out silvernomics' post on the topic here) Are Tomahawks now being manufactured in the UK?

All questions, few answers from me --- hopefully you, dear reader will have some ideas.

Some background materials, for anyone inclined to take a peek:

Comprehensive silver materials from USGS: http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/silver/index.html#mcs

Vault list of bars (SLV): https://ebts.jpmorgan.com/metalicsWebApp/ebts_downloads/BONY_SLV.pdf

Prospectus: http://us.ishares.com/content/stream.jsp?url=/content/en_us/repository/resource/prospectus/is_p_slv.pdf

Inspection certs: http://us.ishares.com/library/kits/slv_vault_inspection_certificates.htm

Info page: http://us.ishares.com/product_info/fund/downloads/SLV.htm

56 Comments

sierra skier's picture

1ST

Thank You

Edit in; Now to digest the post.

Hawkman's picture

Perhaps they see the writing on the wall?

And it would be simply too embarrassing if they had to go out and buy back all of Gordon Brown's gold at quadruple the price?

Jack - who read before posting and also wonders why sovereigns ever let their gold and silver go in the first place...

lakedweller2's picture

JPM and Other Waste Matter

Top 10 and statement in subject

Edit:  Why did MF Global Funds end up in London

Who actually is stealing the physical and where is it going

America may only have Mules

argentus maximus's picture

Where are the UK silver

Where are the UK silver imports going?

I'm looking forward to someone giving an inspired verifiable answer to this!

Could people be reacting to BOE money printing ....unthinkable!

sengfarmer's picture

musings

How long can this show drag on?

edit: oh yeah fifth

ag1969's picture

Hmmmmmm

I don't know the answer, but wasn't it in March that China bought the LME?  I am not sure this info is even relevant, but a deal to close on the LME doesn't just happen willy nilly overnight.  So Argentus as usual is right, it would be nice to know where the imports are going.  If the imports are going to LME starting in Jan. 2012 and are "stacked" at the LME, and then China buys LME in March 2013 and the buying stops in April 2013, that would be interesting.  But of course, this is all conjecture.

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Back when the pound was sterling

Photos appeared in preview, but not posted.

¤'s picture

Thanks JY

The first thing that came to my mind was..."Whatever happened to that silver supply shortage  we hear about all the time?"   It seems like tonnage of silver is available for those who know where to look or have the means to buy it.

It seems like there's lots of silver to be had even if demand is high. Just look at the amount of silver that JPM's been hoarding for awhile now in SLV supposedly. By most accounts it seems that there is enough phyz to satisfy the big players all the way down to the smaller retail types like us. Could it be a perceived shortage based on some warehouse delivery games and record keeping was taking place creating the appearance of a shortage? 

Anyway, I started looking into British silver and started finding it very interesting and beautiful in it's design and overall look. I currently have no British coins and I'd like to get at least one.

Here's a chart showing the various heads of royalty during their time period and the coins they were on.

Facing left     Facing right  
Cromwell 1653–1658[12] Broad 1656 Oliver Cromwell coin.jpg   Charles II 1660–1685 Guinea 641642.jpg
James II 1685–1688 James2coin.jpg   William and Mary 1689–1694
William III 1694–1702
William and Mary Guinea 612668.jpg
Anne 1702–1714 Half-crown of Anne.jpg   George I 1714–1727 George I Quarter Guinea 641648.jpg
George II 1727–1760 George II Guinea 722655.jpg   George III 1760–1820 Sovereign George III 1817 641656.jpg
George IV 1820–1830 Sovereign George IV 1928 651295.jpg   William IV 1830–1837 William4coin.jpg
Victoria 1837–1901 Sovereign Victoria 1842 662015.jpg   Edward VII 1901–1910 Matte proof 5 pound Edwards VII.jpg
George V 1910–1936 1 penny 1927 george 5.jpg      
Edward VIII 1936 EdwardVIIIcoin.jpg (uncirculated issues)  
George VI 1936–1952 1937 George VI penny.jpg   Elizabeth II 1952–present 1953 half crown obverse.jpg

And here's a little wiki background on British silver coinage...

"....From the time of Charlemagne until the 12th century, the silver currency of England was made from the highest purity silver available. Unfortunately there were drawbacks to minting currency of fine silver, notably the level of wear it suffered, and the ease with which coins could be "clipped", or trimmed, by those dealing in the currency.

In the 12th century a new standard for English coinage was established by Henry II — the Sterling Silver standard of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. This was a harder-wearing alloy, yet it was still a rather high grade of silver. It went some way towards discouraging the practice of "clipping", though this practice was further discouraged and largely eliminated with the introduction of the milled edge we see on coins today.

By 1696, the currency had been seriously weakened by an increase in clipping during the Nine Years' War[6] to the extent that it was decided to recall and replace all hammered silver coinage in circulation.[7] The exercise came close to disaster due to fraud and mismanagement,[8] but was saved by the personal intervention of Isaac Newton after his appointment as Warden of the Mint, a post which was intended to be a sinecure, but which he took seriously.[7] Newton was subsequently given the post of Master of the Mint in 1699. Following the 1707 union between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland, Newton used his previous experience to direct the 1707–1710 Scottish recoinage, resulting in a common currency for the new Kingdom of Great Britain. After 15 September 1709 no further silver coins were ever struck in Scotland.[9]

As a result of a report written by Newton on 21 September 1717 to the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury[10] the bimetallic relationship between gold coins and silver coins was changed by Royal proclamation on 22 December 1717, forbidding the exchange of gold guineas for more than 21 silver shillings.[11] Due to differing valuations in other European countries this inadvertently resulted in a silver shortage as silver coins were used to pay for imports, while exports were paid for in gold, effectively moving Britain from the silver standard to its first gold standard, rather than the bimetallic standard implied by the proclamation.

The coinage reform of 1816 set up a weight/value ratio and physical sizes for silver coins.

In 1920, the silver content of all British coins was reduced from 92.5% to 50%, with a portion of the remainder consisting of manganese, which caused the coins to tarnish to a very dark colour after they had been in circulation for a significant period. Silver was eliminated altogether in 1947, except for Maundy coinage, which returned to the pre-1920 92.5% silver composition.

The 1816 weight/value ratio and size system survived the debasement of silver in 1920,.."

(cont.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coins_of_the_pound_sterling

Occasnltrvlr's picture

Okay, This Isn't Really On Topic, But...

...You did open the door with the phrase "Britannia Mania".

I am not a collector, but I do have a soft spot for pretty coins (and a magnifying glass in my desk drawer).  So, here and there, I've put together a few pretty coins, sticking primarily to true bullion variety.  I'll be dogged if my Britannia isn't perhaps the most raggedy-looking of the lot.

Texas Sandman's picture

A ray of light

Gold closed right on the 50 day MA.  Silver closed 1.5% above it.  This is vitally important because that is the line in the sand for the mo-mo hedge funds.  We may now see a short squeeze unfold.

And at the same time, 6 month GOFO now negative for two days.

We're on the launch pad with the engines rumbling and lots & lots of rocket fuel (in the form of overextended nervous shorts)!

Hunt brother's picture

Who will sell gold to the shorts? JPM? Jimmy Paige?

Over Under Sideways Down - Yardbirds (Page) - YouTube

www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLv7viCMGo8
Aug 5, 2007 - Uploaded by dickeyboyz

Over Under Sideways Down - Yardbirds (Page) - YouTube. Popular on YouTube. Sports ...

¤'s picture

The Brother's - Midnight Rider

"...one more silver dollar...'

Oh look...57GT devil

Isn't that a handsome coin?

7165880000_d1d57b3054_z.jpg

And I just had to post this pic...

1929 £1 PUC stamp replica in gold...

6312874818_88ae026f8e_z.jpg

maravich44's picture

acc#183484985...

as follows.

sierra skier's picture

GSR

I got back too late to edit into my last post, but thought that they are stacking silver possibly because the GSR is so high that they may be hoping to do well with silver then trade it off for gold when the ratio becomes closer.

My hope is that seeing larger institutions stacking silver is an indication of the times and silver will be moving up sometime shortly whether by its own admission or with the help of said institutions. I know my patience has been tried during this huge slap down and it would be great to see my complete stack back above water and my average buy-in costs.

Biochar's picture

Goldmart.com

Ever since the fraudulent price of Silver dipped below $20 I've been adding to my stack with these 10 oz. beauties, only $1.09 above spot at Goldmart.com ~ I've placed 3 orders so far and each time it's gone swimmingly, if you catch my drift ~ they send me an email when they receive my check, then send me another email when my items ship, along with a USPS tracking number. Bottom line, the USGS says Silver will be all mined out relatively soon, in comparison with the other industrial and precious metals..... Reset or no reset I don't mind holding until then. Also, did industry come up with an alternative to platinum just because it rose in price to goldesque levels?

¤'s picture

Speaking of a Saxon hoard...

attachment.php?attachmentid=4183&d=12538

From Nat geo...

This tale of the largest Anglo Saxon treasure hoard ever found is a must-see for the modern day treasure hunter. The unprecedented find mesmerised archaeologists and historians around the world, and made global headlines.

In Saxon Gold: Finding the Hoard, we uncover the full story. Nothing like this has ever been found in Britain before -- sixteen hundred pieces of bejewelled gold and silver, buried, lost then forgotten. Discovered in July 2009 by an amateur metal detecting enthusiast in Litchfield, Staffordshire, this magnificent golden hoard is set to shed light on one of the most mysterious periods of British history.

Dating back nearly 1,400 years from the mid-seventh century, everyone wants to know to whom the treasure belonged. Where and how was it made? Why was it buried? And why was it lost for over a millennium? This absorbing show answers these questions and more, as we meet the key players involved in the incredible story; from the original finder with his metal detector and the owner of the land where this superb collection was found, to the experts who realised the hoard was of international significance and the team who speedily excavated the site in secret to prevent nighthawking.

The Hoard was valued at £3.3m by experts in November 2009. The Art Fund successfully led a public appeal to raise the funds and save the Hoard for posterity. The target sum was met on 23 March 2010. The Hoard will now be co-owned by Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke. For the finder his discovery has been life-changing. For archaeologists, this is just the beginning of a long journey to try and unravel the mysteries generated by the hoard of precious metal. To unlock the secrets of the Saxon hoard a further £1.7 million is needed for vital research and conservation.

Dyna mo hum's picture

Short squeeze and temptation....ouch

Provident Metals 10 oz Silver Bar

Be the first to review this product

Availability: In stock

$215.89

$222.35

Quick Overview

Available today for as low as $0.99 Over Spot!



Each Provident Metals bar is composed of 10 troy ounces of .999 fine silver. Provident Metals brand silver bullion is minted at OPM in Jackson, OH U.S.A. by American workers. These bars are eligible to be placed into a self-directed IRA account. Bars will arrive in new condition.
Sell To Us Price: $206.99* This is the price Provident Metals will pay you when selling your items to Provident Metals. Subject to certain minimums. Find out more here.
Jakarta Expat's picture

U.S. Said to Plan to Arrest Pair in JP Morgan Loss

This news is about time, yes it is about time that the US Government finally starting going after JPM and giving these fellows something to think about like possibly going to jail for their actions instead how they are going to spend their huge Xmas bonuses. The only unfortunate thing about this news is that the names Blythe and Jamie's are not the 2 they want to arrest.
 

U.S. Said to Plan to Arrest Pair in Big Bank Loss

Updated, 9:30 p.m. | Government authorities are planning to arrest two former JPMorgan Chase employees suspected of masking the size of a multibillion-dollar trading loss, a dramatic turn in a case that tarnished the reputation of the nation’s biggest bank and spotlighted the perils of Wall Street risk-taking.

The former employees, who worked in London, could be arrested in the coming days, according to people briefed on the matter. The action, the people said, would involve criminal fraud charges.

The employees — Javier Martin-Artajo, a manager who oversaw the trading strategy, and Julien Grout, a low-level trader in London — could ultimately be extradited under an agreement with British authorities. Yet the people briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, cautioned that it is unclear whether British authorities will be able to locate the men, who are natives of other European countries.

Representatives for the F.B.I. and the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan declined to comment, as did a spokesman for JPMorgan. A lawyer for Mr. Martin-Artajo did not respond to an e-mail. A lawyer for Mr. Grout could not be located.

The plan to arrest the traders hints at an aggressive new stance from the government, which has come under fire for prosecuting only a few Wall Street employees tied to the 2008 financial crisis. Taking aim at employees of a Wall Street giant like JPMorgan, even when they fall below the executive ranks, could send a warning shot across the financial industry.

The losses at the heart of the JPMorgan case stemmed from outsize wagers made by the traders at the bank’s chief investment office in London. The traders used derivatives — complex financial contracts whose value is typically tied to an asset like corporate bonds — to bet on the health of large corporations like American Airlines.

Those trades soured last year, racking up steep losses for the bank. JPMorgan, which initially disclosed the problem last May, has since announced that the losses reached more than IDR61,750 billion.

After more than a year of gathering evidence about the losses, federal prosecutors and the F.B.I. in Manhattan have concluded that the two employees understated the value of their trades to hide the problem from executives in New York. Poring over internal e-mails and phone recordings that shine a light on how the employees valued the trades, authorities came to believe that Mr. Martin-Artajo directed Mr. Grout to falsify internal records.

Those actions, JPMorgan told authorities, caused the bank to lowball the losses. Last July, the bank restated its first-quarter 2012 earnings downward by IDR4,723,900 million, conceding errors in the valuations.

The charges hinge on the cooperation of another JPMorgan trader, Bruno Iksil, nicknamed the London Whale because of his role in the unusually large bet. Despite initially personifying the trade — the blowup is referred to colloquially as “the London Whale” — some investigators concluded that he was unfairly blamed.

After giving multiple interviews to authorities, first at a meeting in Brussels and then New York, Mr. Iksil secured a cooperation agreement from the government. It is unclear, however, whether he will face separate charges.

While authorities are not pursuing charges against JPMorgan’s top executives, according to the people briefed on the matter, the bank is nonetheless bracing for civil charges from regulators. The Securities and Exchange Commission, which is expected to cite the bank for lax controls that allowed the traders to undervalue the bets, could strike a settlement with the bank as soon as this fall.

The Financial Conduct Authority, a British regulator, also plans to fine the bank in the coming months, one person said.

In an unusually aggressive move, the S.E.C. is seeking to extract an admission of wrongdoing from the nation’s biggest bank. If JPMorgan concedes to that demand, such an admission would reverse a longtime practice at the S.E.C., which has allowed defendants for decades to “neither admit nor deny wrongdoing.” The people briefed on the case added that the agency had not threatened to file civil charges against JPMorgan executives.

As the criminal case progresses, the government could face challenges in the courtroom. For one, Wall Street cases are unusually difficult to prove to jurors who must grapple with financial jargon.

That hurdle is particularly high in this case, which centers on the vagaries of rules that even seasoned Wall Street employees struggle to interpret. Under the rules, traders are granted some leeway to value their trades on derivatives contracts because actual prices may not be readily available, presenting a challenge to prosecutors who must prove that employees intentionally cloaked losses.

Even though JPMorgan itself is not the target of criminal scrutiny, the case casts an unwelcome spotlight on the bank. The case could highlight the way the traders breached the bank’s own risk limits to make their bets — suggesting that JPMorgan, once hailed for its risk management, had porous controls.

The case also comes at a time when JPMorgan, which recently reported record quarterly profits, is already grappling with an array of regulatory woes. The bank faces inquiries from at least eight federal agencies, a state regulator and two European nations. Adding to its headaches over the trading losses, authorities are investigating the bank in connection with its financial crisis-era mortgage business. The bank, for example, recently disclosed that federal prosecutors in California are investigating whether it sold troubled mortgage securities to investors before the crisis. Regulators are also examining flaws in the bank’s debt collection practices.

The investigation into the trading losses stems from early 2012. As their bet worsened, JPMorgan has said, the traders started to underestimate the losses.

Since announcing the losses, the bank has overhauled its controls and ousted the employees involved in the bet. The bank’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, has apologized for the breakdown.

The bank also commissioned an internal investigation into the trades, ultimately turning over its findings to federal authorities and a Senate subcommittee examining the losses.

An ensuing subcommittee report concluded that Mr. Martin-Artajo’s team of traders stopped recording the value of their bet in a “middle range,” shifting to some of the most generous possible figures.

In one recorded phone call referred to in the report, the London Whale, Mr. Iksil, told a colleague that the bank’s estimated losses were “getting idiotic.” Mr. Iksil added that “I can’t keep this going” and that he did not know where his boss in London “wants to stop.”

Reflecting concerns about the estimates, Mr. Grout kept a spreadsheet that tracked the difference between his valuations and the midpoint. The documents, according to the subcommittee’s report, showed that his valuations underestimated the losses by more than IDR4,116,688 million.

Mr. Grout, the subcommittee said, told Mr. Iksil in a recorded conversation, “I am not marking at mids as per a previous conversation.”

Exbroker's picture

When Jim Willy finds God....I

When Jim Willy finds God....I might give a hoot what he thinks

Dyna mo hum's picture

Exbroker Willie

Before this is all over he will one way or the other. 

Green Lantern's picture

I remember the piece the

I remember the piece the Silver Doctors did earlier in the year about German car company hoarding their silver in a massive military bunker near Zurich next to the Vatican gold.   Something tells me that military complex probably has got plenty of room for much more. 

http://www.silverdoctors.com/german-automaker-reportedly-hoarding-as-much-physical-silver-as-it-can-acquire/

If you are a corporation, a government, a military or anybody else, seems like at these prices, you'd be hoarding the hell out of it.  

The other question we need to ask ourselves is why can't anybody scat like Ella Fitzgerald anymore?  Eh

Is it live or is it memorex?

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Metal inflation

A British pound (e.g., sovereign) 100 years ago would reflect 4 crowns = 4 x .841 oz = 2.83 oz (approx.) 

S3883__01.jpgS3883__01.jpgS3883__01.jpgS3883__01.jpg

=

s65.jpg

An ounce of silver is 13.25 pounds tonight, after the close of trading in NY.  So a pound's worth of sterling -- 2.83 oz -- would cost approx. 37.5 pounds today. 

US is easier.  According to coinflation.com, a US silver dollar has $15.86 in silver, while 10 dimes (.72 oz, compared to the .77 oz in a silver dollar [don't ask]) has $14.83 in silver.

mMKEUoReBtDqyGaRUpqAemQ.jpgmMKEUoReBtDqyGaRUpqAemQ.jpgmMKEUoReBtDqyGaRUpqAemQ.jpgmMKEUoReBtDqyGaRUpqAemQ.jpg

8 Swiss francs (until 1968) contained 1.074 oz of silver.  [Don't include the post-1932 5 franc coins -- they hold 3 francs worth of silver.]  An ounce of silver today costs 18.94 francs.  So 1.074 oz would cost 20.35 CHF.  In other words, it takes 2.5 modern Swiss francs to purchase a silver Swiss franc.  Amazing!  Unparalleled, as far as I can see.

SteveW's picture

One pound sterling

or a British pound was defined as 12 troy ounces (1 troy lb) of 92.5% sterling silver. This is 11.1 oz.

DeaconBenjamin's picture

You are being too literal

a British pound was defined as 12 troy ounces (1 troy lb) of 92.5% sterling silver. This is 11.1 oz.

If you paid a "pound sterling" for something 100 years ago, it would reflect 4 silver crowns, or one sovereign (0.2354 oz of gold).

enkidu's picture

Damn I've been importing

Yeah I thought I was ahead of the trend in the UK importing silver coins. Most here just buy sovereigns etc, people/shops only seem to like gold. Looks like im just a small fish in a big pond but part of that chart is down to me turd.

RaRaRasputin's picture

UK hoarding Silver

JY - interesting question.

Stacking silver here is a more painful fiat experience for retail customers as we have to pay 17.5% VAT on top of the coin price, although it is the largest and purest legal tender coin and therefore currently CGT free.

Gold may be considerably more expensive per tr oz but easier to stack this in smaller denomination coins, particularly if you buy Brit's in all four sizes and Sov's & half Sov's, which at the moment remain CGT free as they are also classified as sterling currency.

VAT was made payable on Gold coins from 1973 onwards and the timing of this being introduced suggests that this was linked to the closure of the gold window by Nixon in 1971.  Gold Britannia's and Sovereigns again became VAT free in 2000 as investment coins, and in answer to the question why then my first guess would be linked to Brown's bottom in 1999.  Whether the VAT remains on one and not on the other is a deliberate ploy by the UK govt to steer people towards one rather than the other is another question, which I don't know the answer too either ....

Gramp's picture

Cramer Cramer Cramer, the vail removed

Y is it a comedy show has harder hitting questions than most any other interview out there? It has been reduced to political satire and comedy shows to ask anything of substance. Really sheds light on the garbage stuffed down your throat from the so called 'News' Agencies.   But their tag line is so catchy... "It's what you need to know" or some such chit.

Excalibur's picture

VAT

If only VAT was still 17.5% in the DUK

Xty's picture

I have always held out hope for Jon Stewart

"disingenuous at best and criminal at worst"

"they burned the fucking house down with our money and walked away rich as hell and you guys knew that that was going on"

"in what world is a 35 to 1 leveraged position sane?"  (The gold world apparently!)

"there's a market for cocaine and hookers!"

I think he is really maturing well.

RaRaRasputin's picture

Excali

You're right - VAT went from 17.5% to 20% at the beginning of 2011.  Wishful thinking on my part and makes buying silver even more fiat cost prohibitive.  Apologies. 

Syndicate contentComments for "Hoarding in the UK (?)"