Can someone help me understand this a bit? Probably stupid questions, but...
1) First line - who are the "Dealers"?
2) Second Line - Who are the "Customer"s?
3) what does it mean when "ozs" or "contracts" are "served"?
I think I have a rudimentary understanding of open interest, but still confused by these charts...
I think Harvey has some required reading sections of his blog - if you go through that you might find what you're looking for. But briefly, the dealers are the bullion banks like HSBC, JPM, Scotia Bank (Scotia Mocatta) and others, and the customers could be people like you and me, companies, institutions, funds, countries etc. I think the issuer is the bullion bank that hold the short and where the physical comes from, they notify the long's broker/stopper that physical will be delivered. Served is believed the legal process by which the issuer/short notifies the stopper/long.
Dealers are people who buy and sell gold on a regular basis. These people hold gold to settle futures Customers are those that hold PMs but are not dealers. This could be individual, trusts, endowments, investment fund, ya da ya da ya da. These people hold gold in the Comex vaults for save keeping, or maybe to lease. When a future contract is served it means, generally or should, cash is traded for gold/silver. In the example above, 32 contracts for 100 oz of gold each have been settled. Or 3200 (32 X 100) ounces of gold were settled The long, holder of the future contract, trade money for gold. The short, the seller of the contract, traded gold for money. All contracts must be settled in their month, in this case September. So, 187 contracts remain to be settled for the month. I hope this helps.