silver price

It’s safe to say that the Greece and China crises that have hit the global economy are going to be the biggest issues to watch as far as the precious metals markets – and prices – are concerned.

Over the past month, the monthly Global Precious Metals MMI® fell 4.8% from 84 in June, and it may have further to fall before July is out.

Global-Precious-Metals_Chart_July-2015_FNL

* Read what we said in last month’s analysis.

China’s Star is Falling

One may think that the Chinese equity market crash may help investors flock to gold as a safe haven – but not so fast.

A leading precious metals consultancy called Metals Focus, which interestingly, according to this article, has booted GFMS as the primary supplier of statistical data to the World Gold Council, points out that due to China being a gambling culture, “reckons there is more the likelihood that weak equity prices may end up adversely affecting physical gold demand. Losses generated by the impact of the stock market crash may well hit jewellery and gold artefact purchases, while the scale of the fall is such that potential investors nursing big losses may well not have the liquidity to move back into gold.”

Which would likely mean that gold prices won’t see a whole lot of support. As my colleague Raul de Frutos has noted around the office water-cooler recently, “gold’s safe haven thesis” is not really playing out, probably because of a strong dollar.

Saturday Night at the Palladium: Also Down

The palladium prices from all three global markets we track on our IndX (the US, China and Japan) fell by double digits over the past month. Platinum prices also haven’t looked so hot, looking at 6-year lows, mainly driven by weakness across other commodities and industrial metals.

Palladium spot price since 2012

Palladium spot price since 2012. Source: MetalMiner.

So what to watch in palladium and PGM markets in general?

  • Keep an eye on that US dollar – a strong dollar means a weak South African rand, and that means good news for SA producers to boost supply
  • Investment activity – ETF and other inflow/outflows
  • Next China PMI -> What that means for China automotive demand -> What that means for China auto production

Actual Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium Prices

After rising the previous month, Japanese palladium bar prices dropped 13.6% to $21.73 per gram. The price of US palladium bar fell 12.8% to $673.00 per ounce. At $24.32 per gram, Chinese palladium bar was down 12.2% for the month.

Japanese silver prices fell 7.3% to $5.02 per 10 grams after rising the previous month. After rising the previous month, US silver prices dropped 6.2% to $15.66 per ounce. After falling 4.8%, Chinese silver finished the month at $548.32 per kilogram.

Japanese platinum bar prices fell 4.0% to $34.85 per gram after rising the previous month. After rising the previous month, Indian silver prices dropped 2.5% to $594.89 per kilogram. Japanese gold bullion prices fell 2.5% to $37.83 per gram after rising the previous month. At $1,077 per ounce, US platinum bar was down 2.2% for the month.

After rising the previous month, Indian gold bullion prices dropped 1.8% to $420.36 per 10 grams. Last month, Chinese platinum bar prices dropped by 1.7% to $37.68 per gram. The value of US gold bullion weakened by 1.4% this month, settling at $1,173 per ounce. The price of Chinese gold bullion drifted 1.0% lower to $37.78 per gram.

The Global Precious Metals MMI® collects and weights 14 global precious metal price points to provide a unique view into precious metal price trends over a 30-day period. For more information on the Global Precious Metals MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

Silver prices in Japan, India and the US all rose over the past month, as did gold prices in the same regions. Silver and gold prices in China, however, fell ever so slightly. These inputs, as well as platinum and palladium prices showing mixed movement, resulted in MetalMiner’s monthly Global Precious Metals MMI® registering a value of 84 in June, holding steady at May’s level.

precious metal price index chart

Compare with last month’s report: download it free here.

The real stories that concern us, however, may reside in the PGM markets.

2015 GFMS Platinum & Palladium Survey SAYS:

Thomson Reuters recently released its GFMS Platinum & Palladium Survey 2015, and in it, noted that the platinum market to be in a deep deficit last year “(prior to inventory movements) of 1.02 million ounces, singularly owing to major strike-related production stoppages in South Africa.” The 2014 deficit comes on the heels of surplus in 7 of the last 8 years; the deficit is expected to continue.

Meanwhile, palladium has been a market in deficit since 2007. The GFMS team estimates “the palladium market deficit last year at 1.58 million ounces, representing the most severe market imbalance for more than a decade.”

GFMS Platinum, Palladium Price Forecast

According to the survey, the average platinum price is forecast to fall by 16% year-on-year, averaging $1,170/oz, about 5% higher than May’s closing price on the MetalMiner IndX. Analysts indicate that this suggests a closing of platinum’s discount to gold. The average palladium price forecast is broadly flat year-on-year at $800/oz, not too much higher than current prices.

William Tankard, research director of mining at Thomson Reuters, is quoted as saying, “It appears to us that forward buying programs by the automotive sector are developing increasing levels of flexibility for these consumers to purchase metal when they want to, rather than need to; the sector is becoming increasingly price-sensitive. Without enduring production cuts to be achieved, by permanently closing high-cost mines, the platinum market is expected to return to surplus next year. Of course, it’s a huge challenge as a producer to make that call, incur restructuring costs and permanently close capacity, if you believe the price will recover in the short- to medium-term.” Read more

Bolstered by a weaker dollar, global precious metals rose last month as industrial demand for palladium was finally joined by higher gold bullion and platinum prices.

Free Webinar: What EPA Clean Power Plan Could Cost Your Business

The number of Americans applying for first-time unemployment benefits inched up by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 in the week ended May 2, the Labor Department said recently. This was less than the 275,000 economists predicted and within reach of the unrevised 262,000 level for the prior week—the lowest since 2000.

Global-Precious-Metals_Chart_May-2015_FNLThis is the latest sign that an interest rate hike may come from the Federal Reserve as continued improvement in the US labor market might clear the path for rate hikes. Read more

Without major central bank actions, precious metals will continue to fall in Q2 and possibly longer.

Free Download: Cost Certainty for Overseas Precious Metal Purchases

The decline that began in February has taken hold for metals such as palladium, gold and platinum and it looks to be a long-term trend that won’t end, based on market forces alone, for some time.

Global-Precious-Metals_Chart_April-2015_FNL

Palladium price weakness pushed the monthly Global Precious Metals MMI® to a value of 83 in April, a decrease of 3.5% from 86 in March. Read more

The gold price fell to a two-month low on Friday, after data showed the US economy created more jobs than expected last month, bolstering the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates around the middle of this year.

Free Download: Automate Your Trades to Lock in Shipping Costs

Gold for April delivery, the most actively traded contract, was recently down 0.9% at $1,185.70 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. That is the lowest intraday level for the most active gold contract since Jan. 5.

US employers added 295,000 jobs to payrolls in February and the unemployment rate fell to 5.5%, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected payrolls to increase by 240,000.

Japanese silver saw a 1.4% drop on Thursday, March 5, landing at JPY 634.00 ($5.30) per 10 grams and making it the biggest mover of the day. The price of Indian silver rose 0.5% to INR 37,302 ($598.65) per kilogram after a two-day drop. The price of Chinese silver fell 0.4% to CNY 3,510 ($559.52) per kilogram. The price of US silver flattened at $16.21 following two-days of declines.

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

The price of Indian gold bullion is back up, rising by 0.5% yesterday to close at INR 26,747 ($429.25) per 10 grams. Chinese gold bullion closed 0.3% lower at CNY 243.64 ($38.84) per gram. At $1,200 per ounce, US gold bullion fell 0.3% yesterday. The price of Japanese gold bullion declined 0.2% to JPY 4,641 ($38.79) per gram.

US platinum bar finished the day down 0.2% to $1,180 per ounce. After a 0.2% increase, Japanese platinum bar finished the day at JPY 4,574 ($38.23) per gram. At CNY 257.00 ($40.97) per gram, the price of Chinese platinum bar was essentially unchanged.

US palladium bar ended the day at $824.00 per ounce, after the 0.2% drop yesterday. The price of Japanese palladium bar steadied at JPY 3,202 ($26.76) per gram following two-days of increases. The price of Chinese palladium bar flattened at CNY 186.00 ($29.65) after two days of improvement.

The Global Precious Metals MMI® fell to a value of 86 in March, succumbing to the across-the-board decline that has affected commodities this year. It was a decrease of 4.4% from 90 in February, a month in which gold and silver saw a sharp spike as a hedge against weaker currencies.

Global-Precious-Metals_Chart_March-2015_FNL

In February, gold and silver came back down to Earth and the precious metals status quo was maintained.

Fed Inaction Means No Action for Prices

The strong dollar and the resolution of Greece’s latest bailout talks have not helped the investment metals and gold, particularly, lost some of its value as a result this month. Palladium is still in high demand for industrial and automotive uses but, unlike last month, it could not overcome the losses felt by its fellow PGMs.

Free Download: Cost Certainty for Int’l Trades

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates in the second half of the year, but recent comments by Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen seem to have soothed the fears of investors who believed such a move could come as early as June. Yellen said the Fed would proceed cautiously during minutes recently released from its 2009 open committee meetings.

Read more

Gold’s relationship with silver and the stock market seems to have changed, writes Jamie Chisholm of the Financial Times.

Free Download: Cut Your Shipping Costs.

The mint ratio is the gold price divided by the silver price. Assuming supply stays reasonably stable, the mint has usually tended to rise when equities fall.

Yet, since mid-2011, the mint and the S&P 500 have rallied in tandem. There is no big jump in silver output to account for this. So does silver’s underperformance mean investors are skeptical about global demand?

Decreasing 1.3% made Indian silver the biggest mover of the day, finishing at INR 37,100 ($600.13) per kilogram on Wednesday, March 4. US silver prices saw a 0.8% decline to $16.23 per ounce. Chinese silver saw its price rise 0.7% to CNY 3,525 ($561.81) per kilogram. The price of Japanese silver held steady at JPY 643.00 ($5.37) per 10 grams.

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

Japanese gold bullion ended the day at JPY 4,650 ($38.87) per gram, after the 1.0% drop yesterday. The price of Indian gold bullion declined 0.3% to INR 26,623 ($430.65) per 10 grams. The price of US gold bullion fell 0.2% to $1,204 per ounce. Chinese gold bullion ended the day at CNY 244.29 ($38.93) per gram, after the 0.1% drop yesterday.

Japanese platinum bar finished the day down 0.5% to JPY 4,567 ($38.17) per gram. Chinese platinum bar prices rose 0.4% to CNY 257.00 ($40.96) per gram. US platinum bar prices saw a 0.2% decline to $1,182 per ounce.

At JPY 3,202 ($26.76), the price of Japanese palladium bar finished the market day up 1.0% per gram. The price of Chinese palladium bar increased 0.5% to CNY 186.00 ($29.64) per gram. The price of US palladium bar remained essentially flat at $826.00 per ounce.

Precious metals miner Fresnillo PLC reported lower-than-expected full-year profit and revenue, hurt by falling gold and silver prices.

Free Download: Gain Cost Certainty for International Trades

Shares in the company fell as much 8.7%. A Reuters poll in January forecast a further decline in silver and gold prices in 2015, with gold expected to average around $1,234 an ounce and silver expected to fetch about $17.20 an ounce.

The company’s pretax profit fell to $251.1 million in the year ended Dec. 31 from $418.7 million a year earlier.

The day’s biggest mover was Chinese silver, dropping 2.6% to settle at CNY 3,500 ($557.67) per kilogram on Tuesday, March 3. The price of US silver closed Tuesday at $16.36 per ounce, halting its two-day flat run with a 1.1% decline. Following a couple days of improvement, the price of Indian silver weakened by 0.8%. Prices closed at INR 37,599 ($607.34) per kilogram. Japanese silver finished the day up 0.8% to JPY 643.00 ($5.35) per 10 grams.

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

Japanese gold bullion prices rose 1.5% to JPY 4,699 ($39.09) per gram. The price of Indian gold bullion fell 1.4% to INR 26,715 ($431.53) per 10 grams. Chinese gold bullion finished the day down 1.1% to CNY 244.60 ($38.97) per gram. At $1,206 per ounce, US gold bullion fell 0.3% yesterday.

The price of Japanese platinum bar increased 1.6% to JPY 4,590 ($38.18) per gram. At $1,184, the price of US platinum bar finished the market day up 1.0% per ounce. Chinese platinum bar closed 0.4% lower at CNY 256.00 ($40.79) per gram.

US palladium bar saw its price rise 2.4% to $826.00 per ounce. After a 1.7% increase, Japanese palladium bar finished the day at JPY 3,171 ($26.38) per gram. Chinese palladium bar finished the day up 0.5% to CNY 185.00 ($29.48) per gram.

Gold and silver prices increased this week as Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen continued to downplay the possibility of raising interest rates in the short term.

Free Download: Lock in International Shipping Costs

In the world’s largest gold market, India, the presiding government refused industry demands for a decrease in the 10% gold import tax and, like the Fed, its rate will remain unchanged.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Global Precious Metals MMI® was the price of Japanese silver, which saw a 6.3% increase to JPY 638.00 ($5.32) per 10 grams. This comes on the heels of a 8.8% decline the week prior. The price of Indian silver rose 4.9% to INR 37,912 ($615.02) per kilogram after falling 7.6% during the previous week. The price of Chinese silver fell 1.2% to CNY 3,595 ($574.43) per kilogram after rising 0.8% the week before. The price of US silver rose 0.5% to $16.53 per ounce after falling 4.9% during the previous week.

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

The price of Indian gold bullion rose 2.6% to INR 27,108 ($439.75) per 10 grams after falling 1.8% during the previous week. The price of Japanese gold bullion rose 0.7% to JPY 4,630 ($38.64) per gram after falling 2.0% during the previous week. The price of US gold bullion rose 0.4% to $1,209 per ounce after falling 2.2% during the previous week. After a 0.2% decline, Chinese gold bullion closed out the week at CNY 247.30 ($39.51) per gram.

The price of Japanese platinum bar rose 1.7% to JPY 4,517 ($37.69) per gram after falling 3.6% during the previous week. Chinese platinum bar saw a 0.8% decline over the past week to CNY 257.00 ($41.06) per gram. The price of US platinum bar rose 0.7% to $1,172 per ounce after falling 3.3% during the previous week.

A 5.7% jump caught the week’s heaviest change for Chinese palladium bar. The price of US palladium bar rose 3.3% to $807.00 per ounce after falling 0.9% during the previous week. The price of Japanese palladium bar rose 2.0% to JPY 3,117 ($26.01) per gram after falling 1.1% during the previous week.

The Global Precious Metals MMI® collects and weights 14 global precious metal price points to provide a unique view into precious metal price trends. For more information on the Global Precious Metals MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

Gold prices edged higher Tuesday as a pullback in US equities and a weaker dollar lent support to the precious metal.

Free Download:Lock in Precious Raw Material Shipping Costs

The most actively traded contract, for April delivery, was recently up $3.50, or 0.3%, at $1,211.70 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gold had been under pressure as a rally in US stocks lured away investors in recent months. The S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both closed at fresh records on Monday, while the Nasdaq Composite rose above 5000 for the first time in nearly 15 years.

In other markets, palladium prices held near a five-month high as some investors wagered that China will mandate clear air-quality standards at an annual meeting of its legislature, which starts Thursday.

The price of Indian gold bullion closed as the biggest mover for Monday, March 2. Switching from a downward trend, the metal closed at INR 27,108 ($439.75) per 10 grams following a 2.6% increase. Chinese gold bullion finished the day up 1.0% to CNY 247.30 ($39.51) per gram. The price of US gold bullion remained steady at $1,209 per ounce. After a couple of days of improving prices, the price of Japanese gold bullion held steady at JPY 4,630 ($38.64).

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

Indian silver saw its price rise 2.6% to INR 37,912 ($615.02) per kilogram. After a 0.8% increase, Chinese silver finished the day at CNY 3,595 ($574.43) per kilogram. Following a two-day rise, the price of Japanese silver flattened at JPY 638.00 ($5.32). US silver stayed flat at around $16.53 per ounce.

The price of Chinese platinum bar increased 1.2% to CNY 257.00 ($41.06) per gram. The price of US platinum bar steadied at $1,172 per ounce following two-days of increases. The price of Japanese platinum bar flattened at JPY 4,517 ($37.69) after two days of improvement.

Chinese palladium bar gained 0.5% to finish at CNY 184.00 ($29.40) per gram. The price of Japanese palladium bar ended a two-day climb, settling at JPY 3,117 ($26.01) per gram. Following a two-day rise, the price of US palladium bar flattened at $807.00.