US Silver Stocks

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Where has all the silver gone?

Let your eyes tell you a story...^o-o^..


This chart shows the sum total of US Silver stocks which went from
1.25 billion ounces in 1934 up to a peak of 5.9 billion ounces in Nov 1942.

Presumably this sudden surge in the stockpiles was fed by England and Europe in the war effort as they dishoarded their stocks for funds, equipment & materials.
Data source; NBER


The next lot of charts have been compiled from the USGS Silver Statistics

Here we have the National Defense Silver Stockpile which began as a stockpile of 139,500,000 ounces of silver purchased for $180 million:

220311. U.S. Treasury Silver Program.
In previous years the U.S. Treasury provided $180 million of silver for the stockpile.
At that time the silver had a cost basis of $1.29+ per oz. - link - pdf file

As of December 1999, the Defense Department's silver stockpile totaled 21.2 million ounces, down 85 percent from its opening balance of 139.5 million ounces - now the stockpile has gone. link


Here you can see how the stockpile has disappeared at the rate of 250 ton per year ever since 1986 and now is empty.
These stocks were used extensively by the US Treasury/Mint


The next two charts show the combined totals of all the stockpiles in the USGS Silver Stocks.
This one in tons with the peak occurring in 1993 at 14,000 tons and now at a low of 3,500 tons.
(soon to be 500 ton less when the National Defense Stockpiles is exhausted in 2001).
This one in ounces showing the combined totals of 112 million ounces as all that are left.

This one shows US Imports/Exports of silver over the last 30 years.
As you can see exports have recently collapsed.

From the above we can deduce that Europe/England was cleaned out of the majority of their silver back in 1934-1942 and then there was the silver rally of 1980 which brought out a lot more hoarded silver over the following ten years.
This can readily be seen in this chart of the Comex Silver Stockpile vs the price where we can see the flow on effect of the price producing dishoarding.

(This effect is also clear in the Gold Price vs Comex stockpiles)

So we can see that the visible recorded stockpiles of silver in the US have gone from 5.9 billion ounces down to the current 110 million ounces in 60 years. That's a reduction in visible silver of 96.5 million ounces (or 3000 tons) a year on average.

The latest statistics show US consumption at 7,700 tons last year. (approx 250 million ounces)
With total global production at just under 18,000 tons. (approx 575 million ounces)
http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/silver/880301.pdf

Demand globally in 1999 ran at 27,625 tons (888.2 million ounces)
http://www.silverinstitute.org/supply/

We're currently running a 10,000 ton deficit (320 million ounces)
On an almost empty stockpile (only 1/8 of a years production) whilst consumption is still strong.

Even if there's 500 million ounces out there it's going to disappear fast.
Even faster if it's taken off the table quickly.

It's well past the case of "IF" and now the case of "WHEN"


Nick



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