The disconnect between the massive physical buying of gold versus the falling paper derivatives price has now become nothing short of extraordinary. While we have all seen the figures describing the gold buying frenzy in China and India, now we have some more detailed information about what is happening on the ground in Dubai. Incredibly, we find that since the April paper price crash, 50 tons of gold has been purchased, which is the equivalent of the entire amount of 51.8 tons purchased in all of 2012.
One of the most comprehensive looks at the massive physical versus paper disconnect I have read is courtesy of Goldbroker.com, a company that specializes in physical bullion stored in Switzerland. I suggest checking out their latest Gold Market Report.
Now from Emirates 24/7 we find that:
Dubai demand for gold has been witnessing a massive surge since the price collapse of last month, with demand far outstripping supply.
Various estimates suggest that demand in the past few weeks has been nothing short of astronomical, surging by 10 times the normal demand.
According to the latest precious metals weekly report by Gerhard Schubert, Head of Precious Metals at local bank Emirates NBD, “Participants of the physical industry in Dubai believe that an additional 50 tonnes have been bought since the price crash in April. These sales figures are in addition to the ‘usual’ numbers and put a little perspective on the derivative side of the market.”
The usual numbers that Schubert refers to are the same as the demand seen since April. According to World Gold Council data, total consumer demand for gold in the UAE (not just Dubai) stood at 51.8 tonnes for the entire year 2012, which means that demand was about 4.31 tonnes per month during last year.
Compared with that, as Schubert mentions, Dubai demand in the past few weeks has been 50 tonnes plus ‘usual’ numbers, in effect reflecting the massive surge in interest that gold has seen in this past few weeks.
“We have been running out of gold coins and bars even before they reach our stores,” he added. “There are people who are ‘pre-booking’ gold bars with us, and they collect it once new supply arrives,” he said.