Precious Metals

Neither palladium nor platinum had a good start of the year. Within the first three weeks, palladium prices have fallen 17%, hitting a new five-year low.

Palladium hits 5-year low

Palladium hits a five-year low. Source: @StockCharts.com.

Platinum prices are not performing any better. The precious metal is down 7% so far in January and it’s at the lowest levels in seven years, just above the lows of 2009.

Platinum hits 7-year low

Platinum hits a sevn-year low. Source: @StockCharts.com.

Car Sales Didn’t Help

Auto sales in US hit a new high in 2015, with sales topping 17 million units. In Europe, where diesel powered cars dominate the market, vehicle sales were also strong, growing by 9.3% in 2015 to 13.7 million vehicles. Lower oil prices in 2015 helped the increase in car sales, but it still didn’t move the needle for catalysts such as platinum and palladium.

Free Sample Report: Our January Metal Buying Outlook

Meanwhile, China, with the largest vehicle market in the world at 24.6 million vehicles sold in 2015, saw a 4.7% rise year-on-year in auto sales, marking another all-time high.

Chinese Car Sales Not All That They Seem

Despite China’s vehicle sales hitting a new record in 2015, the world’s biggest car market decelerated in 2015. The annual growth rate in 2014 was almost 10%. Moreover, the Chinese market grew thanks to a strong last quarter, which came from a 50% tax cut for small cars, serving as a stimulus measure rather than a sustainable longer-term demand increase.

Free Download: New! The January 2016 MMI Report

If it wasn’t because of those inflated numbers, China’s auto market would have probably seen its first down year in 2015.

Palladium and Platinum: Victims of China’s Market Slump

The recent stock market selloff in China, which caused global tumult, is what’s really hurting palladium and platinum. A strong dollar is not helping matters, either. Despite analysts calling again for deficits in palladium and platinum markets this year, it’s hard to imagine these two metals rising while China keeps driving everything down.

Gold sinks (yellow) as dollar surges (green) simultaneously. Source: MetalMiner analysis of @StockCharts.com data.

Gold sinks (yellow) as dollar surges (green) simultaneously. Source: MetalMiner analysis of @StockCharts.com data.

The price of gold hit a fresh five-year low on Friday after closing at $1,056 per ounce, the lowest level since February 2010.

Brazil’s government got more aggressive about penalizing the owners of what it says is its worst mining disaster ever and India wants to unlock the potential of its citizens hoarded gold

Samarco Disaster Lawsuit

Brazil filed a lawsuit on Monday against two of the world’s largest mining companies for 20 billion Brazilian reals (about $5 billion) to clean up what it says was its worst environmental disaster, caused by the collapse of a tailings dam at a joint venture iron ore mine the two operated.

Free Sample Report: Our Annual Metal Buying Outlook

The governments of Brazil and those of two states hit by the damburst sued iron ore operator Samarco and its co-owners, the world’s largest miner BHP Billiton Ltd. and the biggest iron ore miner Vale SA.

India Wants Citizens To Sell it Their Gold

India is discussing changes to a scheme to unlock the country’s massive stash of gold at a high-level meeting this week, after a muted response to the program in the first month of its launch, according to banking sources.

Free Download: The November MMI Report

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the plan on Nov. 5 to lure an estimated 20,000 metric tons of gold hoarded in households and temples into the banking system. But only 400 grams trickled in over the first two weeks as low returns and worries over income tax kept Indians away.

This Thanksgiving Holiday, all of us here at MetalMiner would like to share what we’re thankful for this year.

(Mostly) Transparent Markets for the Metals You Buy

While it’s been a great year for buyers, with low commodity prices across the board, we are constantly reminded that prices are only as correct as the information behind them.

Free Sample Report: Our Annual Metal Buying Outlook

This is the first full year for the new LBMA gold and silver prices. More open and transparent processes for precious metal prices can only help purchasers in the long run by giving them more information about what goes into the prices they are quoted. We are thankful for market transparency in all its forms.

Happy Thanksgiving from MetalMiner!

Happy Thanksgiving from everyone here at MetalMiner!

That’s why our own MetalMiner IndX is updated daily with over 600 price points from domestic and multiple international markets. We’re always happy to add more open and transparent price points. Read more

Switzerland will investigate precious metals price collusion and Horizonte Metals is the first buyer in Glencore‘s mining assets sell-off.

WEKO Wants Precious Probe

Switzerland’s WEKO, a government watchdog group, said on Monday it had opened an investigation into possible manipulation of the precious metals market by several major banks. Its investigation, the result of a preliminary probe, was looking at possible collusion of bid/ask spreads in precious metals markets by UBS, Julius Baer, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Mitsui.

Free Sample Report: Our Monthly Metal Buying Outlook

The move comes a month after press reports that the European Union’s competition regulator was investigating anti-competitive behavior in precious metals spot trading, and follows news of a US probe by the Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission earlier this year.

Horizonte Buys Glencore Nickel Mine

Horizonte Minerals said on Monday it has bought Glencore’s Araguaia nickel project in Brazil for $8 million.

Free Download: Latest Metal Price Trends in the September MMI Report

“This is a game-changing transaction for Horizonte. We have been able to negotiate a unique transaction leveraging the current depressed commodity markets,” Horizonte CEO Jeremy Martin said in a statement.

Gold and silver are heading into a risky zone. Both precious metals have fallen for the past four years but it looks like more declines might be around the corner.

Gold since 2014

LBMA gold since 2014. Graph: MetalMiner.

Gold tried to rally this year but the rally wasn’t sustainable. Gold is now back to $1,150 an ounce and seems ready to hit another multi-year low. Despite all the global economic uncertainty, “gold’s safe heaven thesis” is not really playing out.

Free Download: July Metal Price Forecast

A strong dollar and bearishness across commodities are what’s really driving gold prices down.

Silver since 2014

Silver since 2014. Graph: MetalMiner.

Not surprisingly, silver is following the same pattern as the same price drivers are applying. Indeed, silver is already hitting a multi-year low. Interestingly, the same thing happened last year when silver fell and then gold followed.

What This Means For Metal Buyers

The outlook remains bearish not only for base metals but also for precious metals. Gold and silver are approaching key support levels and if they are not able to hold, we could see prices sinking. The buying strategy to take on gold and silver is pretty clear: don’t buy on weakness.

Free Download: Latest Metal Price Trends in the July MMI Report

Precious metals keep falling. We pointed out in October that the outlook for the precious basket of metals was bearish and that palladium was the only one holding its value. Today, the picture looks even more bearish.

Free Download: Cut Your Palladium Shipping Costs

Gold and silver are near their lowest levels, platinum recently made a 5-year low and palladium, the only metal that was showing some hope is now falling and marking a 1-year low.

Palladium price since 2012

CME Group palladium price since 2012. Source: MetalMiner

Although last year we were bullish on Palladium, the picture is starting to look like a downward trend. The precious metal is now breaking a key support level after hitting deeper lows. This indicates that selling pressure is increasing as the metal declines, and its lower high points are a sign that there is diminishing buying pressure during those upward bounces. Read more

I would like to report the culprits in India’s biggest gold smuggling case were carried off the plane with a hernia after trying to get their carry-on bag into the overhead locker, or that the wheels dropped off the carry-on as they left the arrivals hall but the reality is the single biggest seizure of smuggled gold in India was a simple tip off.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering the Precious markets.

But what a tip off, according to the India Business Standard the Special Operation Group of the Ahmedabad City Police seized 60 kilograms of the yellow metal worth an estimated $2.35 million at the Sardar Patel International Airport. Six individuals were arrested including three who had flown in from Dubai on an Emirates Airlines flight and three that met them on arrival and helped load the heavy cases into a car.

Read more

Gold closed last week at $1,280/oz. That’s a 4-month high.

CME Gold price since 2013

CME Gold price since 2013. Source: MetalMiner.

The yellow metal is bouncing off November’s lows and it’s doing so in good trading volume. Increasing trading volume indicates a stronger appetite for the metal, giving more credibility to the move.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering the Precious markets.

Gold is rising while weakness is developing in foreign markets. The move coincided with the enormous swiss franc spike. While gold’s move seems encouraging, we need to remember that commodities are getting hit and that the dollar keeps making new highs. Both of these developments are negatives for gold.

Gold remains in its downtrend, and the rise could be nothing but bargain hunting. To determine that, we’ll have to wait and see if gold is capable of reaching more significant levels. $1,400/oz will be a level to watch. Meanwhile, the best choice is to stay with the trend.

On Wednesday we broke down commodities in different sectors and saw how precious is within the weak sectors, falling over 8% in a year.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering the Precious markets.

As commodities keep falling and the US Dollar keeps rising, the recent lack of investor appetite for precious metals doesn’t come as a surprise. Here is a quick visual breakdown of the significant weakness happening in the precious metals group, starting with the weakest of them: Silver.

Silver since 2012

Silver since 2012, chart courtesy of StockCharts.com.

Silver recently fell to its lowest level since 2010. The metal continues making new lows without showing any sign of strength. In October, the metal was trying to rally in low volume, which makes us wonder how long this rally will last (probably not too long). Silver is down 14% this year. Read more