Silver news you won't get anywhere else

Shall we count how many bloggers pick up on this news item Chinese silver imports decline 39% y/y; exports tumble 44% y/y:

Silver imports in China fell by 39% y/y and 16% m/m to 264.7 tonnes, the lowest level since February, while silver exports declined by 44% y/y to 83.5 tonnes, keeping China a net importer of the metal for two consecutive years on a monthly basis.

On a product basis, silver powder, unwrought silver, semi-manufactured silver, and silver jewelery all declined y/y in September with the latter two products suffering the steepest decline and silver powder only falling by 4% y/y. Indeed, silver powder is the only product that has grown for the year-to-date.

And from the “Chinese love paper more than physical” department, see China’s gold frenzy gives birth to small bourses:

The emerging exchanges offer a lot size as small as one ounce, which lowers the capital needed to begin trading, even though the margin requirements can be as high as 30 percent. With lot size set at 10 ounces and margins at 20 percent, the initial capital requirement to start trading is about half the amount required by the SGE.

Emerging exchanges claim to trade physical gold, but most investors are not interested in taking physical delivery. Some exchanges make it difficult and expensive to take delivery. …

“Who would want to take physical gold? People just want to speculate on price moves and make a profit,” said a customer service representative at the exchange who gave her last name as Chen.

Analysts compared the gold investment spree to the wave of retail stock market investors in the last decade, who rushed to a bull market with little know-how, only to suffer huge losses during later market turbulence. …

Although China’s central government has vowed to open up the market, and has made progress by allowing more foreign banks access to the two Shanghai exchanges, an open market for retail investors is yet to take shape. …

But it was unlikely to happen as long as the country’s foreign currency exchange remains tightly controlled. Until foreign exchange controls are lifted, Chinese gold bugs would continue to need tables to put down their bets. “The Chinese love gambling,” said Hou.

Doesn’t sound like China’s exchanges are any different from COMEX. If the Chinese Government wanted its people to buy physical gold you’d think all this paper gold would be shut down. I suppose we will have to wait until the much hyped PAGE is up and running [sarcasm].

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