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Sprott Physical Silver Trust ET Message Board

  • petechamps21 petechamps21 May 7, 2012 11:07 PM Flag

    Shanghai Futures Exchange-silver futures

    Shanghai Futures Exchange starts a silver futures trade
    Submitted by cpowell on Sun, 2012-05-06 20:16. Section: Daily Dispatches

    By Robin Bromby
    The Australian, Sydney
    Monday, May 7, 2012
    Silver and China are coming full circle. In the mid-1930s the academic journal Foreign Affairs noted how "the world was startled by the news that China had abandoned the silver standard" after foreign miners began dumping surplus metal into China.
    Seventy-eight years later, this coming Thursday, the Shanghai Futures Exchange begins trading silver contracts. China Daily noted there had been an absence of silver trading ability in China and -- significantly -- it would make the market more liquid.
    The silver buffs jumped on that one, predicting the end of big Western speculators manipulating the price, which so many of them believe has been occurring.
    However, silver still tends to behave as it did more than 80 years ago. That Foreign Affairs article noted "the ups and downs of silver have been more marked than those of any other commodity." Same now. China Daily noted "the price of silver has long been volatile," recalling last year it dropped 13 per cent in a single session.

    Chinese commentators expect the silver contract to do well as most retail investors there prefer that metal to gold, because its minimum purchase value is lower. But silver is also imbedded in the Chinese psyche: It was long the basis of China's currency and in 1935 the Shanghai-based biweekly Finance and Commerce reported personal hoards of the metal in China were estimated at 1.27 billion ounces.

    China is not only the world's largest gold producer but is becoming the biggest importer too. We will wait and see whether the same import demand builds for silver.
    Shanghai futures trading could mean additional investment demand for silver, just as we have seen Chinese retail investors stock up on gold.
    But, more importantly, we might see Chinese corporates looking to pick up silver projects (and companies) abroad, just as they have begun doing with gold deposits and producers.
    If Standard Bank's bullion strategist was right in February, China has very large stockpiles of silver, estimated as being sufficient for 15 months' fabrication demand. So China does not need physical silver today -- but buying foreign silver assets is about demand in the years ahead.
    It seems all the gold and silver roads are leading to China.

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