When you eat, breathe and sleep your work, sometimes inspiration strikes you at the most odd of hours. Last night, I'm tossing and turning, trying to relax when the following pattern came to mind.
First, let's review a few things to insure that we are all on the same page. In Comex silver futures, there are five "delivery" months. These are the contracts that are the most actively traded because they are the contracts with the most volume and open interest (liquidity). These five contracts are considered "delivery" contracts because they are the ones through which holders most often take actual physical delivery of metal. Yes, the other months do see some delivery action but it is the months of March, May, July, September and December where the bulk of the physical settlement takes place.
If one desires to take delivery through The Comex, one must first buy a futures contract. Let's say you wanted your 5000 ounces of silver in March so you purchase a March12 contract. When you buy the contract, you only have to put up part of the money, this is your initial margin requirement. However, once the contract expires, The Comex will ask you to put up all of the money needed to purchase the silver. The date where "100% margin" is required is known as First Notice Day. It's a sort of put-up-or-shut-up type of thing. By late February, trading in the March contract will have ceased so The Comex wants you out of the contract. Only those with intent to take delivery are allowed to continue to hold it and all of them must have 100% of the cost of delivery in their respective brokerage accounts by First Notice Day.
It is on First Notice Day that we get some idea of how many contracts are standing for delivery. Recently, this number has been coming in anywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 contracts, or roughly 10,000,000 to 20,000,000 ounces of silver. OK, are you with me so far??
Here's the rather alarming trend that hit me late last night:
For the December11 contract, first notice day was November 30, 2011. Closing price that day of the March12 contract was 32.87. BY 12/29/11, the MARCH12 TRADED AS LOW AS 26.50. DOWN 19.38%.
For the March12 contract, first notice day was February 29, 2012. Closing price that day of the May12 contract was 34.70. (It was even higher at 37.26 on 2/28.) BY 3/22/12, THE MAY12 TRADED AS LOW AS 31.18. DOWN 16.32%.
For the May12 contract, first notice day was April 30, 2012. Closing price that day of the July12 contract was 31.01. BY 5/16/12, THE JULY12 TRADED AS LOW AS 26.73. DOWN 13.8%.
Graphically, it looks like this:
Uh-oh. Maybe now would be an excellent time to go back and read this post from last Saturday:
As you know, yesterday was option expiration and the final trading day for the July12 contract. The action now shifts to the September12 contract. First Notice Day for the July12 contract is this Friday, the 29th. If things get a little dicey next week and into mid-July, don't say you weren't warned. That said, I firmly believe everything I put into the Saturday post referenced above. IF a washout through $26 materializes, please do not panic. Recognize it for what it is: The Closing Acts of The Silver Cartel. Once they are net flat or even net long, things are going to get very exciting around here.
Be patient. Think clearly. Be rational. Prepare accordingly.
p.s. My intention is to update TurdTalksMetals with a new podcast, every day by 4:00 EDT. Today, there will likely be a bit of a delay, however. Thanks for your patience and thanks to all who are supporting the new venture.