Here is a summary of some observations and dealer notices / comments I've seen over the past few days (please note some are candid comments, not intended as official communique). I have been tweeting many of them as I see them, so if you're on Twitter you can follow me here (@BullionBaron) for more timely updates.
Weekend (13th/14th of April):
Tulving (US) - Site was down for the majority of Saturday (Service Temporarily Unavailable message), returns later in the weekend with heavily depleted inventory.
Atkinsons (UK) - "Due to volatility in the precious metal markets we are unable to take any further orders at present."
Provident Metals (US) - "Expect a short delay on orders containing 2013 Silver Eagles."
Bullion By Post (UK) - "Due to unprecedented demand and price volatility, we are unable to take any further orders until 9am Monday."
Bullion Club (AUS) - Ran out of 1 ounce Gold coins.
Monday - Tuesday (15th/16th April):
Gold Stackers (AUS) - "Bloody busy. All buyers, no sellers, but have heard of a few major sellbacks at other dealers."
Bullion List (AUS) - "There may be some delays on shipping some items due to the mad rush for physical at the moment. It seems the entire world is going bargain hunting for physical at the moment but we can still take orders and lock in prices."
Bullion Bourse (AUS) - "Please expect delays due to extreme market conditions. Orders may take up to 4 weeks to dispatch."
Ainslie Bullion (AUS) - Closed their online store, reports their phones were ringing off the hook.
Perth Mint (AUS) - Reports of customers 12 deep at the counter. Perth Mint Bullion site went offline for part of the day on the 16th.
APMEX (US) - 2013 American Silver Eagles out of stock.
Atkinson (UK) -"I need to thank you one and all for your support, orders, and patience. The simple truth is we are inundated with orders on a daily basis."
People's Daily Online (CHINA) - "Shoppers swarmed into gold jewelry shops in Shanghai over the weekend lured by the two-year low of bullion price after global gold prices plummeted."
Kitco (US) - Kitco is now no longer selling Eagles, Maples, Bisons, or Koalas to anyone in the US.
Wow and that was just after a quick flick through some threads on a couple of forums. Make sure you don't confuse shortage of retail products for a "Silver shortage" but there is no denying we are seeing some massive demand for physical metal at the moment.
Margin calls in the paper market are causing some forced selling, but if this were really a bursting bubble then shouldn't we be seeing the physical buyers panicking to sell their metal rather than scrambling to buy more?
Guy Debelle from the RBA made some comments on Gold today:
A senior Reserve Bank official has all but declared that gold was in a bubble - one that seems to have burst.
Speaking at an economic forum in Canberra, RBA assistant governor Guy Debelle says the price of gold has fallen because it does not have much inherent value.
"Gold often has a high price because people believe that other people think it's worth a lot," he warned.
"When you describe other markets like that, the word bubble often gets rolled out. I'm not going to say that here, you can draw your own conclusions." ABC News
So the RBA representative is implying Gold is a bubble... is that the same RBA who sold 167 tonnes of Australia's Gold right at the bottom in 1997? And then watched from the sidelines as Australia inflated a housing bubble? Yes, I'm sure they are an insightful bunch who are right on the ball with the value of assets and being able to judge when they are in a bubble /sarcasm.
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