The London Float And PBOC Gold Purchases
This BullionStar blogpost is part of a chronological storyline. Please make sure you’ve read The Mechanics Of The Chinese Domestic Gold Market, PBOC Gold Purchases: Separating Facts from Speculation and The London Bullion Market And International Gold Trade, or it will be difficult to understand the finesses.
This week I listened to an interview with a Swiss refiner which promptly reminded me of an interview I conducted with Alex Stanczyk (currently Managing Director of Physical Gold Fund SP) on 9 September 2013 about what he was hearing from industry insiders on Chinese gold demand. Back then we knew very little about the Chinese gold market and how physical gold across the globe was flowing towards China. This started to change on 18 September 2013 when I published my first analysis on the structure of the Chinese gold market with the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) at its core; a topic that since then has been discussed by researchers at investment banks, in the blogosphere and in the mainstream media. The Western gold space has learned a great deal about the Chinese gold market and global gold flows, though we’re always left with loose ends. For example, the issue regarding PBOC gold purchases; how much gold do they truly have and where was it bought? Does the PBOC buy 400-ounce Good Delivery (GD) bars in London and covertly transports these gold bars to its gold vaults in China mainland, or are the Good Delivery gold bars shipped to Switzerland, refined into 1 Kg 9999 gold bars, sent forward to the Chinese mainland where they’re required to be sold through the SGE gold exchange and from where they can be bought (in clear sight) by the PBOC. The latter would imply that the full gold flow would be visible for anyone with an Internet connection.
Yesterday I re-read my interview with Alex from September 2013 in which he shared information from industry insiders. From Alex (September 2013):