Gold ETF Outflows vs. Physical Bullion Demand
Alena Mikhan and Jeff Clark, part of Casey Research’s Metals Team, published a commentary this week countering the bearish sentiment surrounding the recent gold ETF outflows. While investors in the paper market may be selling gold, long-term physical holders are buying record amounts of bullion from the US Mint.
Since January 1, the holdings of gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have dropped by nearly four million ounces (125 tonnes). February turned out to be the worst month for the world’s largest ETF, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), which saw its holdings drop to 39.7 million ounces (1,236.73 tonnes), its lowest level since October 2011.
If this were the only data investors looked at, they might conclude that “everyone is selling” and maybe even that the bull market is over. But these data are misleading.
That’s because while ETF holdings are declining, the physical market is seeing robust support. In fact, the US Mint – the bellwether for measuring demand of physical gold in the Western world – reports that sales of gold and silver coins are soaring.