Commentary on the economic , geopolitical and simply fascinating things going on. Served occasionally with a side of snark.
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Gold and Silver News and views May 10 , 2014 .... Ed Steer's missive for May 10 , 2014 - Review of Friday's price action for the precious metals plus a review of the pertinent data for the week ( CME / ETFs / US Mint / Commitment of Traders reports / Chart from Nick Laird ) ....... Articles of interest added after " The Wrap "
The price action in gold on Friday was almost a carbon copy of the price action on Thursday, including the timing of the high and low ticks. And, once again, the highs and lows aren't worth looking up.
Gold closed the Friday session at $1,290.10 spot, up 30 cents from Thursday's close. Net volume was extremely light at only 71,000 contracts.
Ditto for silver. It closed at $19.155 spot, up a whole half penny from its prior closed. Volume, net of May and June, was 34,500 contracts---the same volume as Thursday.
Platinum and palladium price traded in a pattern very similar to their gold and silver brethren. Both closed down on the day---and palladium is back under $800 spot once more. Here are the charts.
The dollar index closed late Thursday afternoon in New York at 79.44---and then didn't do much of anything until a rally began starting at 2 p.m. Hong Kong time on their Friday afternoon. The rally topped out at 79.91 shortly after 3 p.m. EDT---and then traded sideways into the New York close. The index finished the day at 79.87---up 43 basis points from Thursday.
Here's the 5-day chart that shows the lead-up to the appearance of the buyer of last resort that saved the dollar index from oblivion on Thursday. I would guess that yesterday's rally had something to do with the fact that traders who were short the index didn't want to hold those positions over the weekend once it became obvious that 'gentle hands' weren't going allow the dollar index to fail at this juncture.
The CME's Daily Delivery Report shows that 3 gold and 241 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday. In silver, the only two short/issuers were ABN Amro with 217 contracts and Jefferies with 24 contracts. These contracts were divided up between ten different long/stoppers---half of whom were the "usual suspects." Check out yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report here to get all the details.
There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday---and as of 8:21 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either.
Finally the good folks over at Switzerland's Zürcher Kantonalbank had something to say for themselves, as I hadn't heard from them since April 17. In an e-mail yesterday they reported that their gold ETF had declined by 20,129 troy ounces---and the holdings of the silver ETF had declined by 60,990 troy ounces.
The U.S. Mint had another sales report yesterday. The sold another 250,000 silver eagles---and 200 platinum eagles.
For the month of May to date, the mint has sold 11,000 troy ounces of gold eagles---2,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes---1,325,000 silver eagles---and 600 platinum eagles. Based on this data, the silver/gold sales ratio for the month stands at 98 to 1. Year-to-date the silver/gold sales ratio checks in at 71 to 1. These are incredible numbers.
And as I've mentioned before, you have to wonder who is buying all these U.S. silver eagles and Canadian silver maples leafs, because it isn't John Q. Public---as the retail precious metal market hasn't been doing much this year. But whoever it is, has very deep pockets---and isn't buying them because they're expecting silver prices to be cheaper in the future. Ted Butler thinks it's JPMorgan---and I'm not about to argue with him.
Over at the Comex-approved warehouses on Thursday, there was no reported in/out movement in gold. But, as always, it was a different story in silver as 600,456 troy ounces was reported received---and 305,658 troy ounces were shipped out the door for parts unknown. Almost all the action occurred at the CNT Depository---and the link to that activity is here.
Yesterday's Commitment of Traders Report, for positions held at the close of trading on Tuesday, May 6, was interesting in the fact that there was a big difference between gold and silver as far as changes in the Commercial net short position was concerned. Silver improved quite a bit, but deteriorated quite a lot in gold. This dichotomy was interesting in the fact that the price pattern in both metals was quite similar during the reporting week---but they are what they are.
In silver, the Commercial net short position improved by 3,007 contracts, or 15.0 million troy ounces. The Commercial net short position is down to 20,349 contracts, or 101.7 million ounces. Ted says that JPMorgan's short side corner in the Comex silver market is still around the 20,000 contract mark, which means that they hold virtually the entire Commercial net short position in silver all by themselves. How outrageous can you get?
Ted said that almost all of the 3,000 contract improvement came from the raptors [the Commercial traders other than the Big 8] who added about 3,000 contracts to their long position---and now hold their biggest long position they've had since the end of June 2013 when silver hit its last big low price tick. The technical fund short holders are almost at record levels as well---within a thousand contracts of the gross record short position they held on December 3, 2013. Ted also mentioned that the big long holder hiding in the bushes in the "Managed Money" category actually increased their long position during the reporting week. As I said before, one has to wonder what they know that we don't---and maybe they're buying silver eagles and silver maple leafs as well?
In gold, the Commercial net short position increased by a chunky 13,300 contracts, or 1.33 million ounces of gold. The Commercial net short position now stands at 110,471 contracts, or 11.05 million troy ounces. The Big 8 Commercial shorts [which does NOT include JPMorgan] increased their short position by an additional 6,500 contracts---and the raptors sold the balance of about 7,000 contracts to make up the 13,300 contract change. JPMorgan actually added about 3,500 contracts to their long-side corner in the Comex gold market---and Ted pegs their new position at 41,000 contracts net long, or 4.1 million troy ounces.
Here's Nick Laird's "Days of World Production to Cover Short Positions" chart that shows the short positions of the Big 4 and Big 8 traders in all physical commodities on the Comex. And if it wasn't for the fact that JPMorgan is net long the gold market now, all four precious metals, led by silver of course, would be permanently nailed to the far right hand side of this chart, just like they were before JPM got net long. That's the way they've been for as long as I can remember---and I can remember quite a bit.
On thing that can be said with some certainty, touch wood, is that there should be an improvement in the Commercial net short position in both metals next week, provided things don't get wildly out of control to the upside on Monday and/or Tuesday.
As far as the companion May Bank Participation Report [BPR] is concerned, don't forget that this is the one day a month when we find out what the U.S. and world banks are up to in the Comex precious metals, as the data for this report is extracted directly from the Commitment of Traders Report, so we can compare apples to apples between each report.
In gold, 4 U.S. banks are net long the Comex futures market by 12,159 contracts, a decline of 2,400 contracts since the April BPR. Since Ted says that JPMorgan has a long position of about 43,000 contracts, that means that the other 3 U.S. banks must be short about 31,000 contracts [give or take] between them to make the math work.
Also in gold, 21 non-U.S. banks are net short the Comex futures market by 42,962 contacts, an increase in their collective Comex short position of 3,985 contracts from the April BPR. I'm still of the opinion that a decent chunk of this short position is held by Canada's Scotiabank after their wholly-owned subsidiary Scotia Mocatta was forced to report its Comex futures market positions by the CFTC back in October of 2012. So it's my guess that once you divide the remaining short contracts up amongst the other 20 non-U.S. banks, their positions are immaterial compared to the outrageous positions held by the four U.S. banks---and Scotiabank.
Here's Nick's chart showing the latest monthly data---and the 'click to enlarge' feature works wonders. Note on Chart #4 the blow out of the non-U.S. banks short position back in October 2012 when Scotia Mocatta was forced to come out of the closet---on both the long and short side.
In silver, '3 or less' U.S. banks were net short 16,485 Comex contracts, a decline of 4,115 contracts from the April BPR. Since Ted puts JPMorgan's short-side corner in the Comex silver market at around 20,000 contracts, this means that '2 or less' U.S. banks have to be net long the Comex silver market to the tune of 3,500 contracts or so, in order to make the math work. The other two U.S. banks holding long positions would be HSBC USA---and possibly Citigroup.
And just as a matter of interest, look at the short-side corner blow-out in Comex silver back in August 2008 when JPMorgan took over the silver short position of Bear Stearns. A short position, most of which, they still hold to this day. The data is on Chart #4---but stands out on Chart #5 as well.
Also in silver, no less than 13 non-U.S. banks are net short 13,108 Comex silver contracts between them---that's a decline/improvement of 1,613 contracts from the April BPR. My comments on Canada's Scotiabank/Scotia Mocatta in silver are similar to what I had to say about their short-side corner in gold further up. When they were outed by the CFTC in October of 2012, their Comex short position blew out the non-U.S. bank category by many hundreds of percent, as you can tell from Chart #4 below. I'm still of the opinion that two thirds to three quarters of the 13,108 contracts held net short by the 13 non-U.S. banks is held by Scotiabank. This makes the short positions of the 12 remaining non-U.S. banks immaterial.
In platinum, 4 U.S. banks are net short 11,782 Comex contracts, a decline/improvement of 1,046 contracts from the April BPR. These four banks are short about 18% of the entire Comex platinum market on a net basis.
Also in platinum, 13 non-U.S. banks are net short 5,559 Comex contracts, an increase of 631 contracts from the April BPR. Between them, these 13 non-U.S. banks are net short 8.6% of the entire Comex platinum market, which means that their individual positions are immaterial compared to the outrageous short positions held by the 4 U.S. banks. And I would be prepared to bet big money that JPMorgan holds the lion's share of the short positions held by the U.S. banks.
In palladium, '3 or less' U.S. banks are net short 9,006 Comex contracts between them. That's a decline/improvement of 647 contracts from the prior month. These '3 or less' U.S. banks are net short a bit over 20% of the entire Comex palladium market. It's also a safe bet that JPMorgan hold's the lion's share of these short positions as well.
Also in palladium, not less than 11 non-U.S. banks are net short 4,373 Comex contracts, an increase of 733 contracts from April. These 11 non-U.S. banks are net short 9.8% of the Comex palladium market, or less than 1% apiece, also immaterial.
As I say every month at this juncture, this is a 100% "Made in America" precious metal price management scheme, with a little international flavour from Scotiabank in silver thrown in. And the incredible thing about all this is that all these numbers come directly from the CFTC. I don't have to make them up. This, along with the four charts in Friday's column, is prima facie evidence that hangs them all. Case closed.
*** Non redundant news pertaining to the precious metals.....
Representative Kevin Brady: “I’ll conclude with this. My main concern, having served on the committee in the early to mid-2000s, your able and very highly respected predecessor sat where you sat and assured the committee that maintaining low interest rates for an extended period wouldn’t cause general price inflation or inflate an unsustainable asset bubble - which didn’t prove to be the case. After the credit-fueled housing bubble burst in 2007, your predecessor assured the committee that the resulting weakness would be confined to the subprime segment of the housing market and the damage would be limited to about $150 billion, roughly the cost of the S&L crisis. Following the financial crisis in the fall of 2008, we were repeatedly assured the Fed had the strategy to exit from the large expansion of its balance sheet to normalize monetary policy, including the federal funds target. Yet, the goalposts have been moved time and time again - and now removed. And today, you’ve assured the committee once again - and I so appreciate your testimony - that the Fed is confident it can exit without sparking high inflation; but that we can’t know the details or the time-table; but that the Fed and the FOMC have it essentially handled. I don’t expect the Fed to be perfect. Yours is a tough job. Theirs is a tough job. But it just strikes me this over time “don't worry be happy” monetary message isn’t working - at least, in my view, for the committee and certainly not for the economy at this point. I know my colleagues will ask about today’s Wall Street Journal where noted economist, Federal Reserve historian Dr. Alan Meltzer, makes the point never in history has a country financed big budget deficits with large amounts of central bank money and avoided inflation. My worry is that the track record of central banks, including the Fed, in identifying these economic turning points and acting quickly to prevent inflation, that track record is not as good as we would like. So, forgive me for being skeptical. I believe we need more specifics and a clear timetable on the comprehensive exit strategy.”
Good luck with that, Congressman. There will be neither specifics nor a timetable. The Fed has pretty much painted itself into a corner. QE3, in particular, fueled dangerous Bubbles in equities and corporate Credit. Meanwhile, it ensured another two years of global (largely Asian) over- and mal-investment. Today and going forward, the Fed will have little clarity as to the soundness of the financial markets or real economy. It will have minimal grasp on prospective inflation rates. So long as the financial Bubble inflates, economic output will appear OK. Yet market Bubbles guarantee intractable financial and economic fragility. Market tumult would, in short order, darken economic prospects. Very few appreciate today’s dilemma.
The latest edition of Doug's Credit Bubble Bulletin was posted on the prudentbear.com Internet site yesterday evening---and it definitely falls into the must read category.
The low-slung, redbrick office building on the outskirts of Toronto looks just like its neighbours, except for the Canadian flag fluttering high above the front lawn — that, and maybe the lack of any sign bearing the company name.
Look closely and you might also notice the multiple security cameras bristling from every nook and cranny on the walls.
International Depository Services of Canada (IDS) is one of a handful of non-bank and non-government precious metals storage firms that have popped up over the last few years, with customers ranging from simple retail investors to large corporations. When you’re guarding other people’s gold, it helps to keep a low profile.
This very interesting essay showed up on thefinancialpost.com Internet site yesterday afternoon EDT---and I thank Manitoba reader Ulrike Marx for bringing it to my attention---and now to yours. If you don't want to read the article, you should at least look at the pictures.
The daily gold price fixings in London may be serving mainly to inject into the market through bullion banks a "synthetic supply" of gold leased from central banks, the Tocqueville Gold Fund's John Hathaway tells Kitco News in an interview this week. The fix's archaic nature, Hathaway adds, is an advantage to its participating banks, which are always essentially short the metal. The price-setting process should be more transparent, he says.
The interview is not quite 10 minutes long and it was posted on the kitco.com Internet site yesterday---and I thank John Hathaway for sending it along. I thank Chris Powell for wordsmithing the above paragraph of introduction.
¤ THE WRAP
There are no markets any more, only interventions. - Chris Powell, GATA---April 2008, Washington, D.C.
Today's pop "blast from the past" dates back to 1975---and it peaked at #3 for three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100---and it was the highest-charting single the band ever recorded under the name Jefferson Starship. The link is here.
Today's classical "blast from the past" comes from George Bizet's famous opera,Carmen. It's the Habanera from Act 1 Scene 5 featuring soprano Agnes Baltsa, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, all under the direction of James Levine. Everyone's heard this piece in one incarnation or another in their lifetimes---and it's instantly recognizable. The link is here.
Another day of price management that appear to have no end, at least not at the moment. But with volumes in gold particularly light, I wouldn't read a lot into yesterday's price action.
But one thing is certain, we're close to the bottom of this current engineered price decline. There certainly isn't much room left in silver---and the long holder sitting in the bushes in the 'Managed Money' category, isn't likely to be blown out. They're waiting for pay day. Aren't we all.
As I've stated before, the only real fly in the ointment is the possibility that JPMorgan et al could force even more technical funds onto the short side in gold---and that would certainly prolong the current agony. But can they, or will they?
Then it remains to be seen what happens on the next rally in the precious metals. As the price begins to rise, the technical funds will certainly be moving to cover their grotesque and almost record-breaking short position---and it remains to be seen whether JPMorgan et al will materialize as short sellers of last resort once again when that happens. Nothing else matters.
Here are the current 6-month charts for both gold and silver as of yesterday's close. Not surprisingly---and as I mentioned earlier this week---gold was not allowed to break above its 50-day moving average---and is now back below its 200-day moving average as well.
The current silver price is a dollar below any moving average that matters---and until some event changes that situation, not much is going to happen from a price perspective. The price came close to doing something on Friday, May 2---but "da boyz" have spent this past week taking back all those gains, so we're back at the bottom of the barrel in silver once again.
I'm watching the Ukraine/Russia situation carefully---and if there was a ever a tailor-made event upon which to hang a price explosion in the precious metals, this has the potential to set it off at some point. As I've said before, Putin could end this Anglo/American price management scheme that has enslaved all nations of the world, with just a few sentences. But will he, with the co-operation of China, actually play that card?
Right now I get the impression from looking at the price action over the last couple of weeks that prices are just being held in place, as if waiting for some event---preplanned or otherwise---to occur.
The only thing I do know for sure is that the current situation in all four precious metals can't continue on like this indefinitely. But for the moment, we just have to wait it out.
That's it for the day---and the week---but before heading out the door If you’ve been a reader my daily column for any length of time, you may have seen links toThings That Make You Go Hmmm…, the fantastic free newsletter written by Grant Williams.
Grant just did an interview revolving all around gold—why he considers gold to be “unsurance,” what price level will trigger another gold mania, a subtle suggestion to the folks at Fort Knox, and the consequences of manipulation in the paper gold markets. You can watch the video here.
Note that the video page also contains an offer for his monthly newsletter, Bull’s Eye Investor—also a good read. If you subscribe today, the folks fromMauldin Economics will throw in a free copy of the documentary film Money for Nothing, a history of the Federal Reserve and the many bubbles it created. It costs absolutely nothing to check it out.
I'm off to bed---and I'll see you here on Tuesday.
Eric Sprott, Andrew Maguire interviewed by King World News
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
In Gold We Trust.......
Chinese gold demand 694 MT YTD, Silver In Backwardation
Total Chinese wholesale gold demand year to date reached 694 metric tonnes in week 18 (28-4-2014/30-4-2014), annualized 2004 tonnes. During that week 23 metric tonnes of gold were withdrawn from the vaults of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) in only three days! The SGE was closed on May 1 and 2. If the SGE would have been open for trading five days in week 18 withdrawals could have reached 39.16 tonnes, which is slightly higher than the yearly average of 38.5 tonnes. Chinese gold demand remains robust.
If at the end of December withdrawals have reached 2004 tonnes, the bulk of this had to be imported. Withdrawals can only be supplied by domestic mine output, import and scrap supply. Mine output will approximately be 430 tonnes in 2014. For scrap it’s hard to say how much is being supplied to the SGE, myconservative estimate is in between 200 and 300 tonnes this year. A quick calculation tells us how much China would need to import to fulfill the needs for non-government demand in 2014.
Two events currently suggest a possible shortage of physical silver in Shanghai. The first; premiums for spot silver on the SGE are rising significantly since March 17. From the weekly Chinese SGE reports we can see Shanghai silver prices transcending international prices by 4 %. The data in these reports cover up until week 18 (April 30). The SGE uses its most traded silver contract Ag(T+D) to calculate premiums. I do not have a terminal for live quotes, however, if I compare the LBMA silver fix with the SGE closing price for Ag(T+D) on May 9, the premium on silver in Shanghai has reached 5.3 %.
Second; on the Shanghai Futures Exchanges all silver futures contracts are trading in backwardation. Meaning the prices for the futures contracts June 2014 – April 2015 are lower than the price of the futures contract for the first delivery month May 2014. Additionally SHFE silver inventory has dropped 57 % from 575 tonnes on February 28 to 249 tonnes on May 9.
Overview Shanghai Gold Exchange data 2014 week 18
- 23 metric tonnes withdrawn in week 17 (28-4-2014/30-4-2014)
- w/w – 32.79 %
- 694 metric tonnes withdrawn year to date.
My research indicates that SGE withdrawals equal Chinese wholesale gold demand. For more information read this.
This is a screen shot from the weekly Chinese SGE trade report; the second number from the left (blue – 本周交割量) is weekly gold withdrawn from the vaults in Kg, the second number from the right (green – 累计交割量) is the total YTD.
This chart shows SGE gold premiums based on data from the SGE weekly reports (it’s the difference between the SGE gold price in yuan and the international gold price in yuan).
Below is a screen shot of the premium section of the SGE weekly report; the first column is the date, the third is the international gold price in yuan, the fourth is the SGE price in yuan, and the last is the difference.
In Gold We Trust ........ Koos Jansen
China Its Tentacles Reaching All Over The Globe
This week Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits four African nations, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola and Kenya, to boost ties with Africa where Chinese direct investments reached $25 billion in 2013, up 44 per cent from 2008, according to the BRICS post. Li will also meet African Union leaders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Chinese vice-minister for foreign affairs, Zhang Ming, told reporters in Beijing that about 60 agreements will be signed during Li’s trip which ”highlights the great importance we attach to China-Africa relations”. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has said Li’s visit would be a “game changer” and the region requires “a strong partner who will not only support it in economic ventures but also in peace settlement”. China has increased investments in Kenya; bilateral trade reaching $3.27 billion in 2013. China has become Kenya’s biggest direct foreign investments source.
The African Development Bank stated 85 percent of Africa’s export to China are raw materials, such as oil and minerals. The Chinese government has been often accused of an unbalanced pattern of trade, stripping Africa from its resources, even as it finances massive infrastructure projects in the continent. Chinese President Xi Jinping said in February this year that China aims to make the continent more self-reliant.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn visited the Industrial Park in Ethiopia funded by China.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn visited the Chinese construction site of Addis Ababa rail project.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his wife Cheng Hong took portrait with Nigerian President Jonathan and first lady.
Let’s have a look at a short list I’ve compiled from other major agreements (purchases, trade agreements, currency swaps) China has made across the globe in recent years.
July 2010: China’s state-owned shipping giant Cosco takes control of Pier Two (Athenian port of Piraeus) in a £2.8 billion deal to lease the pier for the next 35 years, investing £470 million in upgrading the port facilities, building a new Pier Three and almost tripling the volume of cargo it can handle.
November 2010: China and Russia have decided to renounce the US dollar and resort to using their own currencies for bilateral trade, Premier Wen Jiabao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin announced.
December 2011: Japan and China will promote direct trading of the yen and yuan without using dollars and will encourage the development of a market for companies involved in the exchanges, the Japanese government said.
December 2011: China’s central bank said Thursday that it has signed a 70-billion-yuan (11.06 billion U.S. dollars) currency swap agreement with the Bank of Thailand.
January 2012: China and the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday signed a currency swap agreement worth 35 billion yuan ($5.54 billion), the People’s Bank of China said, adding that the deal was effective for three years and would boost two-way trade and investment.
March 2012: The five major emerging economies of the BRICS are set to inject greater economic momentum into their grouping by signing two pacts for promoting intra-BRICS trade. The two agreements that will enable credit facility in local currency for businesses of BRICS countries will be signed in the presence of the leaders of the five countries.
March 2012: The central banks of China and Australia signed a A$30 billion ($31.2 billion) currency-swap agreement to ensure the availability of capital between the trading partners, the Reserve Bank of Australia said.
June 2012: China and Chile agreed Tuesday to upgrade their bilateral ties to a strategic partnership, and double trade in three years.
February 2013: Chinese firm Geely saves London taxi cab maker Manganese Bronze. Iconic black cab maker Manganese Bronze has been rescued by Chinese car manufacturer Zhejiang Geely in an £11m acquisition, after collapsing into administration last year.
September 2013: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have agreed on a joint foreign currency reserve pool of 100 billion US dollars.
October 2013: UK and China agree on multibillion nuclear cooperation. British Chancellor George Osborne says the UK will let Chinese investors into its nuclear market, offering the potential to grab a 100 percent stake. The first 14-billion-pound deal to construct a plant in the UK may be announced as early as next week.
October 2013: Singapore will introduce direct trading between their currencies, helping the city-state compete with Hong Kong and London as an offshore yuan hub.
October 2013: The ECB and the People’s Bank of China establish a bilateral currency swap agreement with a maximum size of 350 billion Chinese yuan (€45 billion). The agreement will be valid for three years.
October 2013: China’s largest conglomerate, Fosun International, buys JPMorgan’s building that houses gold vault at 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza.
October 2013: China will put millions of pounds to develop the area surrounding Manchester airport – the UK’s third busiest. The £800 million joint venture comes as UK and Chinese businesses get closer after Beijing was granted a “super priority” visa regime.
December 2013: Chinese investors, the second-biggest overseas buyers of U.S. residential real estate, are building up portfolios of U.S. commercial property as they look for new avenues of diversification.
December 2013: China is the top foreign investor in US firms critical to national security.
February 2014: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who has come on a flurry of trips over the past 90 days to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Saudi Arabian crown prince, the Iranian Foreign Minister, as well as a multitude of players from the Gulf and North Africa. West Asia is the region where more than 30 ports of various sizes and functions allow China to both import 60% of its annual requirements of oil, and export goods destined for Europe, the premier market for “Made in China;” as well as transport to and from Africa.
Beijing will finance a three hundred kilometers by high-speed rail between the cities of Eilat and Ashdod, connecting the Red Sea coast to the Mediterranean.
As explained in a recent study by the Center for Research in International Affairs in Herzliya, the Chinese focus on West Asia is manifest largely in investment in infrastructure. These new ports and the high-speed rail will create an alternative transport route that could continue to operate in the event of a crisis blocking shipping in either the Suez Canal or Strait of Hormuz.
This is the strategy of the “New Silk Road.” It also includes the Chinese military pouring money into high-speed rails inside the country. Beijing inked an agreement in 2010 with Tehran for an intended route through Central Asia that envisions a futuristic Orient Express within 10 years. This railway will pass through at least 28 countries in Asia and Europe, extending along 81,000 kilometers from Shanghai to Nanjing at more than 350 kilometers per hour, connecting China to the commercial hub of West Asia. The Luxor-Alexandria railway is, in this context, additional infrastructure to ensure that the “Made in China” goods can access Africa, like the Eilat and Ashdod ports in the Mediterranean.
March 2014: Fosun International has acquired a piece of prime seaside real estate in Greece for 915 million euros ($1.26 billion). Fosun has teamed with one of Greece’s best known real estate firms, Lamda Development and prominent Abu Dhabi developer Al Maabar, to bid for a 6.2 million square metre site that was formerly home to Athens’ Hellenikon airport. Fosun CEO Liang Xinjun said the company has made 49 investments since 2007, across sectors as diverse as health care, finance, real estate and the Internet, while maintaining an internal rate of return of 38 percent.
April 2013: Russia said it was close to signing a deal to sell natural gas to China.
In Gold We Trust
CORRECTION: India Imports 32 Tonnes Of Gold In February
I screwed it up! I checked the numbers one more time, the mistake was all mine. Without further ado here are the CORRECT official trade numbers from the DGCIS.
INDIA IMPORTED 32 TONNES IN FEBRUARY.
Gold premiums provided by Nick Laird from sharelynx.com.
SILVER GROSS IMPORT WAS 486 TONNES. YTD 920 TONNES OF SILVER, ANNUALIZED 5520 TONNES.