Harvey Organ’s Daily gold and Silver Report – 21 Mar

Monday, March 21, 2011

Two notices for silver and two notices for gold sent down/update on Japan

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen:

Gold closed today at $1426.10 up $10.20  Silver rose by 94 cents to $36.00.  It seems that the price of gold seems to levitate around the $1430 level and silver around $36.00.  The banking cartel seems to have drawn a line in the sand forbidding the price to penetrate those levels.

Let us head over to the comex and see how things fared over there.
The total gold comex OI on both official sites rose by 3,011 contracts for a reading tonight of 500,554 from Friday’s level of 497,543.  This is of course, basis Friday which saw gold and silver rise.  Thus a rise in OI is normal and to be expected.  The front options delivery month of March saw its OI fall from 37 to 16 for a drop of 21 contracts.  We had 22 deliveries which accounts for the drop.  All eyes are now on the front month of April  and here we witnessed that the OI actually rose again from 224,972 to 225,003 with a little over a week to go for first day notice.  The banking cartel are starting to take notice of the rather large OI standing in gold.
The estimated volume today was a rather anemic 114,964.  The confirmed volume on Friday was much better registering in at 153,617.

The total silver comex OI saw its OI rise 468 contracts to 133,076 from Friday’s level of 132,608.  Silver had a banner day on Friday so the rather low rise in OI probably scared some bankers to cover a few of their shorts.  Everybody has their eyes glued to the next piece of data, the front OI month of March.  The comex folk notified us that the front delivery month of March saw its OI rise 5 contracts from 893 to 898.  We had zero deliveries on Friday so we had a few more standing in line for silver metal.  The estimated volume today was a rather slowish 46,875.  The confirmed volume on Friday was  large at 65,575.
The low volumes on both gold and silver will probably bother our CFTC commissioners as it seems business is flowing to other jurisdictions.

Here is a chart for March 21. 2011 on deliveries and inventory changes at the comex:
Silver
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory
418,636 oz
Withdrawals from customer Inventory
579,982 oz
Deposits to the dealer Inventory
zero oz
Deposits to the customer Inventory
234,410 oz
No of oz served (contracts )  TWO
10,000 oz
No of notices to be served  896
4,480,000 oz
Gold
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory
zero oz
Withdrawals from customer Inventory
zero oz.
Deposits to the dealer Inventory
zero oz
Deposits to the customer Inventory
zero oz
No of oz served (contracts)  TWO
200 oz
No of oz to be served  notices 14 or 1400 oz
1400 oz

Let us begin with gold as it is the less volatile of the two metals.
Can you believe this?  We are a little over a week away from first day notice and we get zero activity
on deposits and zero activity on withdrawals.  Something serious is happening over at gold comex vaults.

The comex folk notified us that a grand total of 2 notices were sent down for servicing for a total of 200 oz of gold.  The total number of notices sent down so far this month, total 1142 for a grand total of 114,200 oz of gold.
To obtain what is left to be serviced, I take the OI of March at 16 and subtract of the deliveries of today (2)
which leaves me with 14 notices to be served or 1400 oz.

Thus the total number of gold oz standing in this non delivery month is as follows:
114,200 oz (served)  + 1400 oz (to be served)  =   115,600 oz or if you are keeping score 3.59 tonnes.
we gained 100 oz from Friday.

And now the object of our interest, SILVER:

The silver vaults were again chaotic.
The customer received two lots of silver totaling 234,410 oz  (150,477 oz from one customer and 83,933 from another).

The withdrawal scene intensified today.  The customer withdrew 2 lots of silver totaling 579,982 oz
(174,606 and 405,3760)
The dealer also withdrew 418,636 oz from 2 separate vaults.

If you are keeping score, the customer had a net withdrawal of 345,572 oz. By including the dealer withdrawal the total net silver leaving the vaults totaled 764,208 oz.

The comex folk surprised us with the announcement that only 2 contracts were sent down for delivery for a total of 10,000 oz.  Not only that but the OI in March actually rose by 5 contracts so we lost zero oz to cash settlements.

The total number of silver notices sent down so far this delivery month of March now totals 980 for a total of 4,900,000 oz of silver.  To obtain what is left to be serviced, I take the OI of March at 898 and subtract out today’s deliveries (2) which leaves me with 896 notices or 4,480,000 oz left to be serviced.

Thus the total number of silver oz standing in this delivery month of March is as follows:
4,900,000 oz (served) + 4,480,000 (to be served) =  9,380,000 oz
On Friday we had 9,355,000 oz so a few more silver bugs standing for the metal surfaced.

This is the first time in silver comex history that we have seen an amount still standing equal to the amount already served. There are 8 days left so an average of 560,000 oz must be serviced on each and every trading day until the end of this month. It is quite obvious that the comex does not have the silver available for servicing our patient longs.

end

Let us head to our ETF’s and see how they behaved today.

First, let’s see what happened to our “non-physical” inventories.

First the GLD: March 21.2011:

Total Gold in Trust

Tonnes: 1,215.78
Ounces:39,088,500.75
Value US$:
55,960,245,131.19

Total Gold in Trust:  March 18.2011:

Tonnes: 1,226.40
Ounces:39,429,839.26
Value US$:
55,977,729,342.36

Total Gold in Trust: March 17.2011:



Tonnes: 1,217.30
Ounces:39,137,254.39
Value US$:
54,858,999,101.12

What on earth is going on here?  On Friday we had a gain of 9.1 tonnes of gold and today
we saw a huge 10.62 tonnes of gold removed from the GLD inventories.
We must have quite a few fires burning over in London, England.


How about SLV?  March 21.2011:

Ounces of Silver in Trust 352,384,734.600
Tonnes of Silver in Trust 10,960.39
and March 19.2011:  identical.
Notice the difference in the GLD and SLV..  The GLD has inventory removed from its inventory.  SLV does not.
Maybe there is no real physical silver inventory left in the SLV vaults.


And now for our physical ETF’s:

First the Sprott silver fund PSLV:

the premium to NAV rose big time to 21.17% premium to NAV.
This is unbelievable.
The premium is telling us something big is happening to silver.

The Sprott gold fund PHYS:
the premium to NAV fell a bit to 6.15%.

The Central Fund of Canada which is equal parts gold and silver:

saw its premium to NAV rise  to 7.9%

end.

The following story has to send shivers down the spines of the regulators.
We now have another country buying massive amounts of gold.  This time it is Iran, an enemy of the USA who has bought:  (courtesy of Jack Farchy of the Fanancial times.  (FT.com)

Iran bought gold to cut dollar exposure

By Jack Farchy in London
Published: March 20 2011 22:31 | Last updated: March 20 2011 22:31
Iran has bought large amounts of gold in the international market, according to a senior Bank of England official, in a sign of how growing political pressure has driven Tehran to reduce its exposure to the US dollar.
Andrew Bailey, head of banking at the Bank of England, told an American official that the central bank had observed “significant moves by Iran to purchase gold”, according to a US diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks and seen by the Financial Times.
Mr Bailey said the gold buying “was an attempt by Iran to protect its reserves from risk of seizure”.
Market observers believe Tehran has been one of the biggest buyers of bullion over the past decade after China, Russia and India, and is among the 20 largest holders of gold reserves.
They estimate it holds more than 300 tonnes of gold, up from 168.4 tonnes in 1996, the date of the most recent International Monetary Fund data.
The cable, dated June 2006, is the first official confirmation of Tehran?s buying.
Last year central banks became net buyers of bullion after 22 years of large sales, helping drive gold prices to all-time nominal highs. Trades by central banks are often kept secret.
Bankers said other Middle Eastern countries had also been quietly adding to gold holdings to diversify away from the dollar amid political tensions and volatility in currency markets.
“The totality of central bank reserves is not what is reported to the IMF,” said Philip Klapwijk, executive chairman of GFMS, a precious metals consultancy. “There?s probably another 10 per cent on top of that.”
Cables obtained by WikiLeaks cite Jordan?s prime minister as saying the central bank was “instructed to increase its holdings” of gold, and a Qatar Investment Authority official as saying the QIA was interested in buying gold and silver.
“There is no question some Middle Eastern countries are very interested in buying gold,” said George Milling-Stanley, head of government affairs at the mining industry-backed World Gold Council.
In the past two months, the political unrest in the Middle East has helped propel gold to a record price of $1,444.40 a troy ounce.
The Bank of England declined to comment on the cables, but did not dispute their contents. The central banks of Iran and Jordan and the QIA did not respond to requests for comment.
Additional reporting by Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran-END-

In another surprising announcement, China continues to import massive amounts of silver.  Last month they imported 245 tonnes of silver or approximate 8 million oz.  They produce around 80 million oz of silver per year or 6.6 million oz per month.  It looks like China is keeping a greater share of the silver they refine and also silver may be part of their official reserves.
Even Qatar wishes to have its sovereign wealth funds accumulate silver.
Here is this very important article on silver accumulation in China and Qatar:


China Imports 245 Tonnes of Silver in February and Qatar SWF “Interested” in Buying Silver

Central banks and sovereign wealth funds with massive exposure to the dollar, such as the Russians and Chinese, are not going to shout from the roof tops their intentions to diversify into gold and silver bullion as this would lead to a surge in bullion prices and an even greater depreciation of their dollar holdings.

China imported 245.6 metric tons of silver in February. The figure is close to the 260.6 metric tons imported in February 2010 and suggests that the Chinese are more than willing to buy silver at over $30 per ounce. It also suggests that the record Chinese imports of 3,475,394 kilos seen in 2010 (a massive four fold increase from 2009) may be again attained in 2011.

This demand is likely from the private sector rather than official but it is quite possible that there has been official buying in recent months. This may have come from the Chinese State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) which manages nearly $3 trillion of currency reserves. The Chinese has experienced the collapse of a paper currency and hyperinflation as recently as 1949 and therefore appreciate the value of gold (and silver) as currencies which cannot be debased?

-END-

Now for the big economic stories of the day.
As probably everyone has already heard, the USA, Canada, France, Great Britain and some Arab nations
initiated a no fly zone in Libya and thus defended the rebels in Benghazi, Libya.
Here is the latest on another war the usa must fight with limited resources:

First story: courtesy Bloomberg

Allies Extend No-Fly Zone as Strikes Halt Libya Attacks

By Brendan McGarry and Kitty Donaldson – Mar 21, 2011 3:54 PM ET
A U.S. F-16 takes off from the Aviano air base on Monday. Photographer: Guiseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images
March 21 (Bloomberg) — Richard Falkenrath, a principal at the Chertoff Group and a Bloomberg Television contributing editor, discusses the outlook for international military intervention in Libya. Falkenrath talks with Erik Schatzker on Bloomberg Television’s “InsideTrack.” (Source: Bloomberg)
A Libyan rebel waves the rebellion flag as he stands over wrecked military vehicles hit by French warplanes on March 20, 2011. Photographer: Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images
Allied forces are expanding their air campaign over Libya after strikes forced fighters loyal to leader Muammar Qaddafi to halt their attacks against the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.
President Barack Obama said the U.S. expects to hand over military leadership to allies within days once the initial phase — knocking out air defenses to support the no-fly zone — is complete.
The most recent military actions “are focused on extending the no-fly zone southward, then westward from Benghazi,” General Carter Ham, the U.S. commander for combat operations against Libya, said in Stuttgart, Germany.
“There is no intent to completely destroy the Libyan military,” Ham, who heads the U.S. Africa Command, told reporters at the Pentagon via teleconference. “The mission is to protect civilians. We have no mission to support opposition forces if they were to engage in offensive operations.”
Rebel forces pushed out of Benghazi toward the outskirts of the city of Ajdabiya, which is surrounded by pro-Qaddafi forces, theAssociated Press reported today.
U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague today refused to rule out the possibility that U.K. special forces will be deployed as the allied mission grows, saying only that there would be no occupation of the country. Coalition forces used elite soldiers inAfghanistan to target tanks and other heavy weapons for precision air attacks.

Oil Prices

The allied bombardment, which began March 19, moved oil markets today as fighting threatened to prolong supply disruptions. Crude oil for April delivery increased $1.26 to $102.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Obama, speaking in Santiago, Chile, said the U.S. will hand over the military leadership role “in a matter of days, not a matter of weeks.”
The option of having the North Atlantic Treaty Organization take charge may hinge on reservations expressed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Both Britain and France supported giving leadership to NATO, which requires unanimous approval from its 28 member countries, including Turkey. Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini said that unless NATO takes control of the operation, Italy would “reflect” on its decision to permit use of its bases launching the attacks.

Arab Politics

Complicating matters, Arab League allies, who called for the no-fly zone, may not want to operate under NATO’s leadership, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said at a news conference yesterday.
The coalition ordered Qaddafi to pull his forces back from major cities after weeks of fighting that has left hundreds dead in the bloodiest of the popular uprisings to have swept the Middle East this year.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin criticized the allied attacks as a “medieval call for a crusade,” an inflammatory phrase in Muslim nations that Russian President Dmitry Medvedevdismissed as “unacceptable.” Their conflict came a year before the next presidential election, in which both men have said they may run.
Allied air power forced Qaddafi’s loyalists to pull back from Benghazi after recapturing almost all the towns they lost during the uprising. The coalition, which includes the U.S., the U.K. and France, wiped out Libyan air defenses with Raytheon Co. (RTN) Tomahawk cruise missiles while allied jets hit airfields and some of Qaddafi’s tanks.

Libyan Targets

A cruise missile smashed into Qaddafi’s residential compound, knocking down half of a three-story administrative building, the AP reported. It wasn’t immediately known if there were any casualties, the agency said.
“I’m not going to get drawn into the detail of who might be targeted because I don’t think it is right,” Hague told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program when asked if the UN resolution barred attacks on Qaddafi. “I don’t think in a conflict and the enforcement of the UN resolution, to give people all the details of what might or might not be targeted, is wise.”
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday the campaign should be limited to the terms of the resolution rather than being broadened to target Qaddafi directly.

Qaddafi’s Life

The chief of Britain’s defense staff, General David Richards, said Qaddafi can’t be directly targeted.
“It’s not allowed under the UN resolution and it’s not something I want to discuss further,” Richards told BBC News television today.
Regarding the possible deployment of special forces, Hague said that “circumstances can arise when these sorts of things happen. It would be foolish to exclude it.”
The British military launched new strikes on Libyan targets overnight.
“For a second time, the U.K. has launched guided Tomahawk land attack missiles from a Trafalgar-class submarine in the Mediterranean as part of a coordinated coalition plan to enforce the resolution,” the chief U.K. spokesman, Major General John Lorimer, said in an e-mailed statement early this morning.
U.S. Vice Admiral Bill Gortney said SpainBelgium, Denmark and Qatar have joined the coalition. The U.S., the U.K., France, Italy and Canada have at least 25 ships off the coast ofLibya.

Spanish Fighters

Two Spanish fighters and a refueling aircraft undertook their first mission as part of the coalition, the Spanish Defense Ministry said.
Attacks have been “highly successful,” Lorimer said.
“Although they claimed a cease-fire yesterday, there is no evidence” of a change of policy from Qaddafi, Lorimer said. “Opposition sources are saying that Qaddafi is removing forces from Benghazi and targeting elsewhere.”
A United Nations resolution passed on March 17 permits “all necessary measures” short of an occupation to protect civilians from violence. Western leaders haven’t said what they’ll do if the no-fly zone fails to force Qaddafi to comply.
Unrest continued in Yemen today, as some army leaders and diplomats abandoned the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, three days after a crackdown that left dozens dead.
Military officers including Mohammed Ali Muhssein, commander of the eastern region, and Hamid al-Qushaibi, head of an armored brigade, have “announced their support for the revolution,” said Mohammed al-Sabri, an opposition leader. Dozens of army and internal security officials, including three generals, have joined protesters calling for an end to Saleh’s rule three-decade rule, al-Jazeera television reported.
To contact the reporters on this story: Brendan McGarry in Washington atbmcgarry2@bloomberg.net; Kitty Donaldson in London at kdonaldson1@bloomberg.net
To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net; Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

Second story :
(courtesy Jim Sinclair)

Arab League Splits From West Over Libya Bombing 5:29pm UK, Sunday March 20, 2011
Niall Paterson, defence correspondent, and Pete Norman
The Arab League has criticised the military strikes on Libya, a week after urging the United Nations to slap a no-fly zone on the oil-rich North African state.
The Arab League chief said that Arabs did not want military strikes by Western powers that hit civilians when the League called for a no-fly zone over Libya.
Reuters said Secretary-General Amr Moussa was calling for an emergency league meeting to discuss the situation in the Arab world and particularly Libya under UN resolution 1973.
“What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians,” Mr Moussa told Egypt’s official state news agency.
The volte-face by the Arab League raises uncertainty about the unity of Western and Muslim leaders and highlights varying interpretations of tactics and strategy.
Only Qatar has openly supported the Western-led campaign and their planes are now moving into position near Libya.
Sky sources confirm the United Arab Emirates is offering help but does not seek to publicise it.

end.

And this story just came in:   (courtesy Zero hedge)

Israel Warplanes Fly Over Gaza, Bomb Hamas Military Site

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/21/2011 17:51 -0400

Since the apocalypse is obviously priced in to the Russell 2000, the market should be able to digest the latest piece roasted glow in the dark swan with barely a hiccup.
  • ISRAELI WARPLANES HIT HAMAS MILITARY SITE IN GAZA, XINHUA SAYS
  • ISRAELI GAZA ATTACKS INJURE FIVE PEOPLE, AL-ARABIYA REPORTS
  • ISRAELI WARPLANES FLYING OVER GAZA, AL-ARABIYA REPORTS
That said, courtesy of the biggest case of headline fatigue in history, at this point absent NASA announcing the imminent destruction of the earth by an asteroid, or a Proxima Centuari supernova (and even that will be bullish as there is precisely 4.2 years of stock market Zimbabwefication before the earth is annihilated), there appears to be nothing that can possibly prevent the Chairsatan from reverse exercising his Russell 2000 put at 36,000.
And from Reuters:
Israel launched five air strikes in the Gaza Strip on Monday after militants shot mortars and rockets at the Jewish state, witnesses and militant groups said.

At least five Palestinians were wounded, two of them children, medics said, in the raids which showed the rising tensions between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza.

Hamas has stepped up rocket fire at Israel after a lengthy hiatus since a war of two years ago, claiming responsibility for the firings of more than two dozen mortars and rockets at the weekend.

Israel killed two Palestinians in Gaza in a separate border confrontation on Saturday, medical officials said.

The Israeli military confirmed one of Monday’s air raids, saying several Hamas-affiliated militants were targeted in northern Gaza, as well as a tunnel used to smuggle weapons.

Witnesses in Gaza said Israeli warplanes fire a missile after three mortars were shot at Israel, and the Israeli missile landed harmlessly in a bin for animal feed.

Israel fired four other missiles at as many targets later in the evening, aiming at a Hamas security compound in Gaza City, a training camp north of the city, and a brickworks and metal foundry in northern Gaza, witnesses said.

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Over in the usa, existing home sales plummet as prices fall to a 9 yr low. I guess the bankers collateral continues to deteriorate:
(courtesy Reuters)

US Feb existing home sales dive, prices near 9-yr low
WASHINGTON, March 21 (Reuters) – Sales of previously owned U.S. homes fell unexpectedly sharply in February and prices fell to their lowest in nearly nine years, an industry group said on Monday.
The National Association of Realtors said sales fell 9.6 percent month over month to an annual rate of 4.88 million units, snapping three straight months of gains. The percentage decline was the largest since July.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected February sales to fall 4.0 percent to a 5.15 million-unit pace from the previously reported 5.36 million unit rate in January, which was revised slightly up to 5.40 million.
Compared with February last year, sales were down 2.8 percent.
The median home price dropped 5.2 percent in February from a year earlier to $156,100, the lowest since April 2002.

end.

Over in Japan, the news is mixed.  Word came that the cable to feed the electricity to turn the turbines and cool the rods finally got hooked.  The Toyko Electric Power Company was successful in cooling facility NO 5 and 6 and these facilities are now no longer in any jeopardy.  However other stories surfaced which is of  concern to us all.
Here are the important stories with respect to the nuclear fallout today:
Fukushima cloud now at the Atlantic, no risk – France Posted at 03/20/2011 3:23 AM | Updated as of 03/20/2011 3:23 AM
PARIS – The plume from Fukushima has now reached the western Atlantic but its radioactivity is likely to be “extremely low” and have no impact on health or the environment, France’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) said on Saturday.
“As of yesterday, the cloud covered most of North America and northeastern Siberia. It is currently passing over the North Atlantic,” it said, naming French terroritories in the Caribbean and off Canada’s eastern coast.
The cloud has been progressively thinning as it heads eastwards around the northern hemisphere at high altitude and will reach mainland Europe on Wednesday or Thursday, it said, citing a computer model jointly compiled with the French weather service, Meteo France.
“The concentrations of caesium 137 in the air over land traversed by the plume are expected to be extremely low,” it said.
In France, “these concentrations will be at a level that is too low to be detected.”
Caesium 137 is a long-lasting radioactive contaminant that caused the worst environmental problems in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

The following two stories are a little more disturbing.  Courtesy of zero hedge:

Thermal Images From Fukushima Indicate Blistering 128 Degrees Celsius Zone In Reactor #3

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/21/2011 14:50 -0400

Thermal images from Fukushima have just been released. One is based on data from German Die Welt, the other one comes straight from NHK. THE picture from Die Welt, emphasizing Reactor 3 and confirming that previous lies that all temperatures at Reactors 1 through 4, were under 100 degrees Celsius, were nothing but. Note the area indicating 128 degrees Celsius. We would assume that is the reactor core area (which refutes the lie). If, instead, that is the spent fuel rod area, then we have some very big problems, even if TEPCO is telling the truth for once.

 

end.

Radioactive Cesium Content In Japan Sea Water 25 Times Limit, Radioactive Iodine At 127 TImes Maximum Allowed

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/21/2011 12:57 -0400

According to Kyodo, the Fukushima sea fallout is getting material enough to where the sea soon won’t need a blacklight to glow in the dark:
  • Kyodo says radioactive caesium found in sea water 24.8 times limit
  • Kyodo says radioactive Iodine found in sea water 126.7 times limit
The only logical solution is for the Japanese ministry of deadly disinformation to raise the radioactive Cesium sea water limit by 25 times, and that of Iodine by 127 times. And all shall be well.

end.

Back home, this news did not sit lightly with the Fed as the Fed lost its case with Bloomberg as to who received the emergency bank loans in the crisis of 2008:

courtesy Bloomberg:

Fed Must Release Data on Emergency Bank Loans as High Court Rejects Appeal







“The Federal Reserve will disclose details of emergency loans it made to banks in 2008, after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an industry appeal that aimed to shield the records from public view.”
“The justices today left intact a court order that gives the Fed five days to release the records, sought by Bloomberg News’s parent company, Bloomberg LP. The Clearing House Association LLC, a group of the nation’s largest commercial banks, had asked the Supreme Court to intervene.”

 

end.

Well that about does it for tonight.  The action in silver is fascinating.  The fact that we had only 2 delivery notices this late in the delivery month is very telling.  The huge premium of 21.15% to NAV of Sprott’s silver fund, I guess tells us what investors are willing to pay for physical silver in quantity.

I will see you tomorrow
Harvey

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