If you click on the above image to enlarge it, you will see a side by side comparison for the closing price of silver over the past three weeks. The first is on Friday April 8th ($40.01), the second is on Thursday April 14th ($42.09) and finally you have closing price yesterday, Thursday, April 21st ($46.61).
- The fact remains that most commentators have failed to grasp the monetary shifts that silver is signaling today, and in doing so they’ve failed to appreciate just how high it could actually go. The financial media’s failure to grasp the benefits of precious metals ownership continues to perplex us, and it’s not just the commentators who are prone to perpetual disbelief. The sell side analysts are equally as irresolute. According to Bloomberg, the ‘expert’ consensus silver price forecast for 2011 is $29.50, representing a 31% discount from the current spot price. This same group of analysts also predicts prices will decline another 25% in 2012 and a further 9% in 2013 to $20 an ounce. When you consider that the silver price has appreciated by over 21% annually over the past 10 years, these forecasts suggest a very dramatic change in the long-term trend. Will this reversal come true? Probably not. These were the same analysts who predicted that spot silver prices would average $18.65 this year - so they’ve missed the mark by over 100% thus far.
- Last year, non-investment demand for silver (which includes industrial, photographic, and silverware demand) totaled approximately 610 million ounces. This represents approximately 64% of primary supply, leaving approximately 341 million ounces to satisfy investment demand. On the gold side, industrial usage totaled 13 million ounces, or about 10% of primary supply, leaving approximately 125 million ounces left over for investment demand. So, after netting out the industrial usage the primary supply left over for investment demand is about 2.7 times that for gold. However, if we convert those ounces to dollars at current prices, we’re left with $15 billion worth of silver available for investment versus $186 billion worth of gold, or a one-to-13 ratio of silver to gold! This means that in terms of primary supply, silver only has 8% of the capacity for investment that gold does despite having equal if not more dollars flowing into it.
- Although the price ratio of silver to gold has fallen substantially since the highs of 2009, our analysis strongly suggests that this ratio must move lower to restore a fundamental balance between supply and demand. Only time will tell how much lower it will go, but we would not be surprised to see it hit single digits before settling into a more sustainable equilibrium.
And on that note, mainstream media has been slow to comment on the latest statement from China. If you missed it, China's central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan made a significant statment this week.
After a speech at Tsinghua University in Beijing on Wednesday, Zhou spoke of the need to reduce an excessive accumulation of foreign-reserves as those 'reserves' have exceeded a “reasonable” level and the management and diversification of the holdings should be improved.
This, btw, is the way you diplomatically say “we are sick of the US Dollar and will be taking steps to lower our holdings.”
Remember, the US Dollar is China’s largest single holding. And China has already begun dumping Treasuries (US Debt).
- When compared to gold, it is silver that offers the most attractive value proposition by virtue of the gross mispricing of its scarcity, which, we might add, has existed for many years. Thus, in our opinion, as this new bimetallic standard takes root, silver investors will continue to be justly rewarded with marked outperformance. We truly believe that this is the investment opportunity of a lifetime, and increasingly so, others are taking heed. What is clear to us is that with equal investment dollars now flowing into silver and gold, the current 35-to-one ratio is unsustainable and has only one direction to go: lower.
It could be that the gains of the last two weeks are nothing compared to what may happen next month.
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