by Cyrille Jubert, Author of Silver Throughout History
One of my contacts with one of the largest European precious metals brokers told me this morning that they could not find any silver. All the refiners they contacted could not take their orders and could not give any delay. “Call us next next month”, they said. This is the first time that such an event has occurred.I called a Swiss Friend of mine, whose company specializes in silver scrap. He told me that the Swiss refiners were very busy refining silver ore arriving from the mines, and are now quoting between 5 and 6 weeks to refine silver scrap- twice the usual delay.
On Wednesday, he attempted to source a ton of silver (32,000 oz), from the three main Swiss refiners.
Two of them refused to take the order even giving a delay, and the third refiner stated delivery would take 2 weeks.
The refiners had been very busy during the last month trying to fulfill an “enormous” Chinese order. They refused to divulge how enormous this demand was because of professional secrecy, but it seemed to me it was a sovereign order. As India increased its 2012 silver import by 4,000 tons this year, the silver market is very tight. The Chinese demand saturates the refiners’ capacity.