Guest Post: "Measuring Indian Precious Metal Imports", by Koos Jansen

Fri, Dec 19, 2014 - 2:51pm

Another great piece of work from Koos Jansen that you simply must be sure to read and consider.

Much has already been made of the insatiable physical gold demand coming out of India. The removal of some import-export restrictions has caused gold imports to surge even higher, making India the second-largest gold importer on the planet, behind China.

What's not discussed as frequently is India's demand for silver and this is where's Koos' new article is so important. In a world that is already seeming to exist solely upon flow of available silver, adding this extraordinary level of demand from India should only exacerbate what is already a tenuous situation.

The Silver Institute calculated total silver mine supply for 2013 to be approximately 819,000,000 troy ounces. This is about 25,500 metric tonnes. ( The Silver Institute also estimated the 2013 level of scrap silver to be 192,000,000 ounces. This is about 6,000 metric tonnes. ( According to the data listed in Koos' article, after importing a record 1,254 metric tonnes of silver in November alone, total Indian silver demand for 2014 is on pace to exceed 7,400 metric tonnes.

So, let's do some math. If we divide 31,500 by 7,400 we get 23.5%. Yes, you read that right. For the year 2014, the country of India alone will import nearly 1/4 of total global silver mine and scrap supply. All the while, spec algos continue to parade onto the short side of the paper silver game, pressing price lower and lower. Therefore, it's easy to conclude that something has to give in 2015.

Chew on that over the weekend,


India Silver Import 6789t YTD, by Koos Jansen

Gold and silver import into India in November was spectacular. According to the DGCIS provisional estimates India imported 148 tonnes of gold, year to date India has imported 745 tonnes, down 3 % y/y.

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In 2013 the import duty on gold was raised from 4 % to 10 % and the 80/20 rule was implemented – the latter required all importers to re-export 20 % of all gold imported. On November 28, 2014, the 80/20 rule was suspended, nevertheless India imported the largest amount of gold in November since May 2013.

Why was import elevated? First of all because demand was strong.

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Second, I think there has been little obstruction to import gold. Let me explain what I mean with obstruction; the premiums on gold in November averaged a little over 3 % (after subtracting the 10 % import duty). Strong official import and low premiums tell me there is very little gold smuggled into India. When premiums skyrocketed it meant that gold imports were obstructed by the 10 % import duty, the 80/20 rule and the confusion in paper work that initially was caused by the 80/20 rule; tightening supply and raising the premiums. This is confirmed by an inverse correlation between official imports and premiums (falling premiums coincide with rising official imports and vice versa). Now the premiums are low I think there is little obstructing for gold to be imported through the official channels. In November gold importers were still required to pay the 10 % import duty and re-export 20 % of their cargo, however, it seems these procedures were smoothened compared to previous months.


In November India imported 1,254 tonnes of silver – a record as far as my data goes back – year to date total import stands at 6,789 tonnes, up 28 % y/y. India is heading to import approximately 7,406 tonnes in total this year. What’s yearly global silver supply again?

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Silver premiums are relatively constant in India.

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Koos Jansen
E-mail Koos Jansen on: koos[dot]jansen[at]bullionstar[dot]com

About the Author

tfmetalsreport [at] gmail [dot] com ()


James Crighton
Dec 21, 2014 - 2:51pm

One way to hide your gold:

Pills that make you crap gold


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These special pills cost 5 and are filled with 24-karat gold leaf. Completely edible, they're for the person who wants to bling out their bowels.

"As a conceptual piece, [the pills are] intended to give the person who has everything the ability to take it to the next level, and consume gold so that even the most human/least luxurious part of them comes out sparkling with gold," said Kenneth W. Courtney, the creative director of Ju$t Another Rich Kid, the company behind the pills.

He said buyers have ranged from art collectors to people just looking for a unique gift. The pills are part of a line of luxury objects, and the artists behind the designs say they are an exploration of the "creation of and demand for the unnecessary."

Dec 21, 2014 - 11:25am

How is Your Stack of Silver?

Is it big enough? Does it weigh more than you do? Can you carry it in one trip? Are you still holding some of that silly paper Monopoly money?

Get rid of now! Buy metal you can hold in your hand.

Dec 20, 2014 - 3:52pm

I watched an interview with

I watched an interview with John Embry about a month ago, that for the life of me I can't find again. Anyway, in it he stated his preference for platinum and palladium over silver, telling a story about a monsoon (?) disaster in India decades ago after which the Indian people disgorged phenomenal amounts of silver during recovery. He said that there was no way to tell how much silver was held there.

I've frequently thought that when the SHTF that India will give China quite a run competing to be our new overlords.

Safety Dan
Dec 20, 2014 - 8:20am

Movie Included In Link

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“Four Horsemen is a breathtakingly composed jeremiad against the folly of Neo-classical economics and the threats it represents to all we should hold dear.”
– Harold Crooks, The Corporation (Co-Director) Surviving Progress (Co-Director/Co-Writer)

Dec 19, 2014 - 9:50pm

@koos - FWIW - something doesn't compute again

The article below points to silver bar imports way down and your numbers say way up October YOY. Was it silver eagles or any way to get to detail? or perhaps misreading of the GJEPC stats by the author or misleading stats?

Indian silver bar imports tumble By Paul Ploumis November 26, 2014 •

The latest statistics released by the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) suggests notable decline in silver bar imports by India during the month of October this year. The country’s silver bar imports during the month dropped sharply by 36.4% upon comparison with the imports during the same month last year. This is in accordance with the latest trade data published yesterday.

The GJEPC data indicates that the total silver bar imports by the country in September this year amounted to INR 15.03 crores (USD 2.45 Million). In rupee terms, the silver bar imports have declined by 36.7%. The decline in dollar terms stood at 36.4%. It must be noted that the country’s silver bar imports during October last year had totaled INR 23.74 crores (USD 3.85 Million).

Also, silver bar imports by the country in October 2014 fell sharply when compared with the previous month. The imports plunged by nearly 18% over the previous month. The country’s silver bar imports had totaled INR 18.28 crores (USD 3.00 Million) during September this year.

According to GJEPC, the cumulative silver bar imports by the country during the initial seven month period of the current fiscal has declined by over 40% when matched with the previous year. The country’s Silver bar imports during the seven-month period from April to October 2014 totaled INR 101.24 crores (USD 16.77 Million). During the corresponding seven-month period during previous fiscal, the country had imported silver bars worth INR 168.28 crores (USD 28.37 Million).

Dec 19, 2014 - 8:05pm

Russia to U.S.--Checkmate by Koos


Here's another interesting article by Koos. If he's correct, the dollar is a dead man walking and Putin is just waiting for the gold market and the dollar to blow up:

Add to that what gold India and China are acquiring, as well as the other BRICS and associate nations, and we've got the West massively hemorrhaging gold. So maybe we will get a blow up in the gold market before 2014 is over (as per Bo Polny). Maybe this is why the "Nordic states" of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands are so eager to get their gold and jump ship.

Hi ho goldnsilver
Dec 19, 2014 - 4:46pm

Gold disguised as Silver

I remember watching a tv show a few months back when the gold duty hike had taken place in India and it followed the different gold smuggling routes into India. Gold bars were being plated in silver and imported as silver bullion... might explain some of the jump in silver imports? Cant for the life of me remember where i saw this!

Dec 19, 2014 - 4:37pm

Exciting times for sure! 

Exciting times for sure! Keep the faith in PM's.

Visit the FAQ page to learn how to track your last read comment, add images, embed videos, tweets, and animated gifs, and more.

Dec 19, 2014 - 3:27pm

YA MOST SWEET a christmas first

1 Perhaps we will see the Russians and the Chinese swap out their US treasury holdings for gold and the Russians buy Chinese bonds while the Chinese buy up Russian rubles.

Dec 19, 2014 - 3:10pm

SRSrocco latest

And then when you read that total mine supply for 2014 may be falling considerably (which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone given price relative to mining costs), the Indian demand data becomes even more significant:

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