Why Is The U.S. Importing So Much Silver Bullion??

Something very interesting took place during the first two months of 2015.  U.S. silver bullion imports increased significantly compared to the same period last year.  Now, this has nothing to do with the supposed increase of JP Morgan silver inventories as that took place starting in March.

During the first two months of 2014, the United States imported 583 metric tons (mt) of silver bullion, 335 mt for January and 248 mt in February.   This turns out to be 18.7 million oz (Moz) of silver bullion.  However, something changed in 2015.

Not only did U.S. silver bullion imports increase this year…. they surged 44% to 838 mt:

U.S. Silver Bullion Imports 2014 vs 2015

The U.S. imported 421 mt of silver bullion in January and 417 mt in February.   This was an increase of 255 mt, or 8.2 Moz…. in just two months.  Why would the U.S. be importing more silver bullion?  That’s an excellent question.  First, let’s take a look at where this silver came from.

Last year, of the total 583 mt of U.S. silver bullion imports (Jan-Feb), 562 mt came from Mexico and Canada.  These two countries accounted for 96% of the total.  If we look at the chart below, we can see the change in 2015.

U.S. Silver Bullion Imports JAN-FEB 2015 #1

While Mexico and Canada still account for the majority of silver bullion imports (82%), the U.S. also received a significant amount from S. Korea (54 mt), Poland (40 mt), Bolivia (30 mt), Germany (18 mt) and Peru (8 mt).   Why did the U.S. need to access additional silver bullion from these countries when it didn’t have to last year?

Well, if we look at the three major market indicators below, we can certainly see, they don’t justify an increase in silver bullion demand:

1) U.S. Industrial silver consumption continues to decline

2) U.S. Silver Eagle sales were flat year-over-year.

3) Comex silver inventories Jan-Feb net build was only 1.3 Moz

According to the recently released 2015 World Silver Survey, U.S. industrial silver fabrication continued to fall in 2014.  Total U.S. silver fabrication declined from 138 Moz in 2011, to 132.7 Moz in 2012, 127.4 Moz in 2013, and down again in 2014 to 125.4 Moz.  So, if the U.S. Q1 2015 GDP growth was only 0.2%, I would imagine U.S. industrial silver consumption also declined.

Now, if we look at the change in U.S. Silver Eagle sales… this doesn’t help us either.  The U.S. Mint sold a total of 8.5 million Silver Eagles in the first two months of 2014 and 2015.  As we can plainly see, no need for more silver at the U.S. Mint.

How about the Comex silver inventories?  In the beginning of 2015 the total Comex silver inventories stood at 175.5 Moz, but by the end of February, increased slightly to 176.8 Moz.  This small net increase of 1.3 Moz also doesn’t explain the need for additional U.S. silver bullion.  Not all the Comex silver depositories are located in the United States, but even if they were, it doesn’t make much of a difference anyhow.

Well, there you have it.  U.S. industrial silver consumption probably declined during the first quarter of 2015 while Silver Eagle sales were flat year-over-year and there wasn’t much of a build in Comex silver inventories.  So, why did the U.S. import an extra 255 mt of silver in Jan and Feb this year?

Could the answer have something to do with U.S. silver bullion exports?  Let’s see.  During the first two months of 2014, the U.S. exported a total of 61 mt of silver compared to 126 mt during the same period this year.  So yes, the U.S. exported an extra 65 mt of silver (Jan-Feb) in 2015.  However, this still leaves us with a net import of nearly 200 mt of additional silver bullion.

Interestingly, of the 126 mt of U.S. silver bullion exported during Jan-Feb 2015, Canada received 89% of the total at 112 mt.

If we go over all the data, there doesn’t seem to be a satisfactory explanation for the large increase of U.S. silver bullion imports, unless someone is stockpiling silver for various reasons.   One more thing…

The U.S. also imports a considerable amount silver in the form of dore’ bars.  Silver dore’ bars are semi-pure bars created at the site of a mine, then shipped for further refining.  Total silver dore’ bar imports during Jan-Feb 2015 were 207 mt.  Thus, the U.S. imported a total of 1,040 mt of silver bullion and dore’ bars in the first two months of 2015 compared to 769 mt during the same period last year.

According to the USGS, the United States imported a total of 4,960 mt of silver in 2014.  If the U.S. continues to import silver at the current rate (1,040 mt Jan-Feb), it would equal over 6,200 mt for the year.  Again, why have U.S. silver imports surged in 2015 when the market indicators clearly show a flat or even slightly declining demand for silver?

I will say this… I won’t speculate that JP Morgan is the big silver corner as Ted Butler has claimed in several of his last articles.  While I applaud Ted for his work on the silver market over the past several decades, I disagree with him on the issue that JP Morgan has been the big buyer of silver including Silver Eagles and Maples since 2011.

I spoke with several leading precious metals dealers on the internet (who have good working relationships with the Authorized U.S. Mint participants) and they tell me that they haven’t heard anything that would give them the impression that JP Morgan purchased over 100 Moz of Silver Eagles and Maples in the past three years.

Regardless, U.S. silver bullion imports are on the rise and there has to be a good reason.  I will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates in the future.

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44 Comments on "Why Is The U.S. Importing So Much Silver Bullion??"

  1. How funny. The author is trying to find any positive reason to own silver as the price continues to decline. The silver bugs will buy silver all the way down to 5 bucks.

    • Mike,

      I have no idea why you continue to post comments in here. After several email exchanges, there is no getting through that thick skull of yours. Unless you have something constructive to add to the conversation here, why don’t you spend your time wisely somewhere else?

      steve

    • Let’s see silver down to $5 bucks or my currency down to $0 Mmmmmm…………….fuck not sure what I should do.

    • Yeah, let’s go down to 5$, when 25$ is needed for sustainable production.

    • Mike,

      Do you have some for sale? If so, please email me, I’m a buyer down to $5.

      John

    • Mike boy,

      I have good news for you x 2.

      Not only am I ready to buy your gold and silver (and platinum) at 5$, but I promise I will also buy all your shares, bonds, etc when they are also down to 5$….

      Cheers!

      • Exactly. So even you admit that currently the best place to be is the US dollar. Nevermind the ideologies floating around. If everything falls against the USD, you’ll benefit most from holding the USD. (I am not saying forever, just for now, while prices continue to decline. And I am sure the decline has a few more years to go.)

    • Baaaaaaaa

  2. Silverwillwin | May 12, 2015 at 8:47 pm | Reply

    Industry may be down at present with physical silver usage. However if one takes into consideration that mines are close to closing down due to the current grossly low of the Comex spot compounded with that of the ridiculous paper phony manipulation maneuver for the last 4 years.
    What’s not to say that industry , technology , and medicine are beginning to load up for storage warehouse inventories knowing that down the road they may all be looking to be pay several times more for the physical.
    After all , you can’t go wrong at today’s fire sale prices ~ you may never have a chance like this again ;

    http://thecrux.com/what-everyone-should-know-about-silver-today/

  3. Did you mean “do NOT justify”?

    Well, if we look at the three major market indicators below, we can certainly see that these do justify increased silver bullion demand:
    1)…
    2)…
    3)…

    • What ???
      It changed as soon as I posted my question?
      And comments went from 0 to 5….
      Was I reading from on old cache…
      Gawd…these machines are so annoying…

  4. Ted’s current article “The Biggest Silver Haul in History” would have been better named “The Biggest Silver Haul in Recent History” because One— The silver for opium “trade” in China tallied multiples of this and— Two the Silver Purchase Act of 1934 at one point reached a tally of 565,855,000 ounces sucked out of China. That took place between June 1936 and early March 1940, according to Congressional testimony by the Treasury Secretary (Commercial & Financial Chronicle, March 23, 1940, page 1859). That tally was substantially greater however as the Silver Purchase Act of 1934 started vacuuming silver out of China almost immediately on passage in June 1934. By November 3, 1935, China was officially derailed from its centuries old silver money system. Additionally, we don’t know how much silver the Silver Users Association has drained from miners and taxpayers out of the U.S. Treasury, but again it was substantially larger than this alleged 350 MOZ by JPM Chase. During 1967 into late 1970, Treasury “auctions” of silver to the Silver Users association, managed by the General Services Administration, alone tallied 190,435,217 ounces yet the SUA had been getting tens of millions of ounces virtually on a per annum basis since the start of the Truman years and before that when they were operating under their original name, the Silver Users Emergency Committee. http://nosilvernationalization.org/24.pdf
    A parting shot*** if JPM has this silver for price management objectives say around $25, I submit this won’t work if the gold drain takes stocks to zero here, as silver is so closely tied to gold movements.
    ***”parting shot” is a corruption of “Parthian shot,” a reference to some ancient enemies of Rome who were masters of archery on horseback. As their raiding charges reversed course, they’d fire a “parting shot” at their enemies. This worked well enough to defeat Rome’s richest general, Marcus Licinius Crassus at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC. Some histories have it the Parthians captured Crassus and poured molten gold down his throat.

    • Silverwillwin | May 13, 2015 at 9:43 pm | Reply

      Charles , You wrote ” a corruption of “Parthian shot,” a reference to some ancient enemies of Rome who were masters of archery on horseback. As their raiding charges reversed course, they’d fire a “parting shot” at their enemies.” ~ might that be equivalent in today’s terms as in , say flying 1000 mylar balloons with dangling magnets in the pathway of the CME Illinois antennas aimed for NYC and London ? Nah , probably …..just a wild assumption…

  5. Hi Steve.
    As a silver investor this article by Ted Butler must be very worried. I know it worried me. It seems there is a large surplus of silver in the hands of JP Morgan. Yikes!
    http://www.silverdoctors.com/ted-butler-the-biggest-silver-haul-in-history/#more-53516
    Thanks.

  6. Hi!, Patrons Of The SRSrocco Et. Al.:

    Interesting analogy without disclosing whose intents are involved in the obvious larger scale movements of US silver but does “who” really matter; when the most obvious view is that whomsoever they are or may be, they are smart cookies to take delivery of actual physical bullion silver rather than blank Comex silver contracts that not only speculate regards the price of silver but also whether or not the contracts are backed by anything but empty promises on select time lines for deliveries that may or may not be deliverable. My perspective is to only wish them well, in terms of taking an immense advantage of silvers’ physical properties circumstances continuously pointed out to US by Mr. Theodore Butler and evidently whomsoever they are taking physical deliveries of immense metric tons of silver bullion deliveries think Mr. Butler has some points to share with them in their favor about which they have really taken advantage during these strange economic times for whatever security they have determined fits their analogies? Outside of that whose business is it who they are; except that people get curious don’t they but wasn’t it curiosity that killed the cat? The actual information we need is already supplied herein in my view and henceforth god speed to those who have this immense hoard of true blue silver bullion on board in their name for caustic, future, worldwide economic events created out of government blunders over which we the people lost controls decades ago. They will prove to be smart and also primed with gratitude that they had the funds to purchase their huge block of silver bullion!

    RUSS SMITH, CA. (One Of Our Broke, Fiat Money Corrupt States)
    resmith1942@gmail.com

  7. Then why r we importing so much silver?

  8. OK, I got it: The big 5 banks and the FED are stashing against an eroding dollar, just like Homeland Security is buying millions of rounds of AR-15 ammo to put-down civilian riots.

  9. As far as these alleged silver stockpiles are concerned I don’t believe they exist untill I see them with my own eyes. If that isn’t allowed then there is a very real chance those stock piles don’t exist except as a statistic derived from investing currency at the the market price of metal to get implied ounces that serve as a book keeping entry for GFMS and the CPM group to count once a year. As far as JPM’s alleged 350 to 500 million ounces of silver is concerned I say show me the silver! Not the statistics and not photos of aluminum ingots or an old photo of the Hunt brothers silver from the 1970’s. As long as the banks can make statements about having the goods without proving it the manipulation will continue and the BS concerning the magnitude of the above ground stocks of silver and gold will continue. I think that one has to take the position that only the metal you can see and feel is real.
    The rest is BS.

  10. It’s being stockpiled due to the impending return to a PM backed currency the US knows will arrive. This stock will be used, in part, in the new legal tendered coinage.

  11. Silver is a War Metal Steve.

    • lastmanstanding | May 16, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Reply

      It is an “everything” metal. War, tech, medical…

      Nothing else on earth can be substituted to “make that critical connection” for all of it.

      Without silver, there is none of this/it…nothing…and they know it.

  12. I mean, who cares why the US is buying over average Silver bullion. Main issue is that they are buying which would basically be a good thing wouldn’t they use it for price supression purposes. Won’t they? I think anyone who believes they won’t use that Silver exactly for that purpose is a bit naive. I mean isn’t it easy? You just dump paper Silver on the Crimex and the price falls. Then you buy some physical Silver back at discounted prices in order to have some collateral to start the game all over again. Oh yes and before you dump the paper Silver you just frontrun the deal by placing a bunch of short contracts on the Crimex.
    Boom and you are rich, while all the stupid silver stackers are screwed. Isn’t live easy? Those guys enjoy live on their Yacht on Bahamas while you see your investment being parted in half. Come on, that game will not change until the the counterpart will demand delivery of physical Silver and they either don’t have it or can’t replace it anymore to continue the game. That’s when the game will be over. Are we there? Nope, not at all. Yeah but a pretty famous guy have forecasted a Silver shortage in Shanghai by the end ot 2014. Did it happen? Nope. Could it happen in the near future? unlikely! Will it ever happen? Yes most likely. When? Only God knows.

    • Silver’s price follows gold 90+ % of the time. If gold supplies drop to zero it doesn’t matter what games they play with silver. And central banks and sovereign nations are buying gold like crazy.

  13. Silver is the most common precious metal Americans have stockpiled endeavoring to protect their financial futures. Some folks will collect a few hundred ounces of Silver Eagles or Maple Leafs if lucky and fortunate.

    In order to suppress and or control the silver price in the future and in order to subvert the financial gain of the American populace, the US will need larger supplies of silver to do so. It is always about keeping the jack boot of the government goons on the throat of the American public.

    Any government that will spray its people with “Chem Trails” as an ongoing effect of “Geo-engineering” will do anything to maintain its power and I mean anything. The first rule in controlling the populace is to control the currency. Gold and silver are the ultimate currency.

    Most of the populace is now either too impoverished or too propagandized to resist. The drought in California is a direct result of geo-engineering. Go to http://www.geo-engineeringWatch.org or to the interview with Dane Wigington on USAwatchdog.com and learn the Truth. Some things are more precious than gold or silver! Health and freedom are two of those things.

    Four out of the five people I spoke to yesterday, two being doctors, had sinus infections. Many other people have lung and bronchial infections. From where do you believe these illnesses are emanating? I believe it is from the aluminum, barium, and the strontium, that are raining down upon us from the high altitude planes that are spraying us with these deadly chemicals.

    When the ultimate collapse occurs everything will be done to keep the prices of gold and silver under wraps, regardless of what it takes–until people wake up. Can they eventually awaken even while in their broke-ass, zombie, propaganda-driven states, to unite and throw the status quo Repulacrats out of office? I don’t know. The PTB have a huge head start.

    Even then, millions will have to monitor the polls or you will have the same results you had in England where you know those election results were, how do you say, manipulated. Not only are there no free markets, there are now no real elections.

    The US Constitution must be preserved. The big War must be prevented. And those who care must Unite en toto–one person at a time.

    What can you do? I’d like to see 100 million people purchase 10 ounces of silver each and then go to one of the websites listed above, and after reviewing the empirically verifiable science regarding Geo-engineeringing, send a brochure from and a letter to their representatives in congress. Let them know that you know.

    How does silver come into play? Colloidal Silver is one of the great cleansers of the human body when used properly. Look it up and LOOK UP!

    After all, they are not just killing the planet, they are killing you, your children, your animals, and all that you love. This is evil personified. This is murder. This is/will be Auschwitz x 100 or 500.

    • Great Post. Thanks for that. GeoEngineering is destroying this planet and all life on earth. Please look this up and educate yourselves. Pretty soon nothing else will matter if this is not brought to light.

    • Forget the propaganda we’ve been fed for 60+ yrs about auschwitz/holohoax lets look clearly at facts. The Bolshevic Rev. killed extensively more Christians than the Lie these money changers have so vehemently pushed over the years. Until people wake up to the ENTIRE scam, there is no way to purge our world of such filth. The Babylonian money system MUST BE CRUSHED !!!

  14. Silver is the most common precious metal Americans have stockpiled endeavoring to protect their financial futures. Some folks will collect a few hundred ounces of Silver Eagles or Maple Leafs if lucky and fortunate.

    In order to suppress and or control the silver price in the future and in order to subvert the financial gain of the American populace, the US will need larger supplies of silver to do so. It is always about keeping the jack boot of the government goons on the throat of the American public.

    Any government that will spray its people with “Chem Trails” as an ongoing effect of “Geo-engineering” will do anything to maintain its power and I mean anything. The first rule in controlling the populace is to control the currency. Gold and silver are the ultimate currency.

    Most of the populace is now either too impoverished or too propagandized to resist. The drought in California is a direct result of geo-engineering. Go to http://www.geoengineeringWatch.org or to the interview with Dane Wigington on USAwatchdog.com and learn the Truth. Some things are more precious than gold or silver! Health and freedom are two of those things.

    Four out of the five people I spoke to yesterday, two being doctors, had sinus infections. Many other people have lung and bronchial infections. From where do you believe these illnesses are emanating? I believe it is from the aluminum, barium, and the strontium, that are raining down upon us from the high altitude planes that are spraying us with these deadly chemicals.

    When the ultimate collapse occurs everything will be done to keep the prices of gold and silver under wraps, regardless of what it takes–until people wake up. Can they eventually awaken even while in their broke-ass, zombie, propaganda-driven states, to unite and throw the status quo Repulacrats out of office? I don’t know. The PTB have a huge head start.

    Even then, millions will have to monitor the polls or you will have the same results you had in England where you know those election results were, how do you say, manipulated. Not only are there no free markets, there are now no real elections.

    The US Constitution must be preserved. The big War must be prevented. And those who care must Unite en toto–one person at a time.

    What can you do? I’d like to see 100 million people purchase 10 ounces of silver each and then go to one of the websites listed above, and after reviewing the empirically verifiable science regarding Geo-engineeringing, send a brochure from and a letter to their representatives in congress. Let them know that you know.

    How does silver come into play? Colloidal Silver is one of the great cleansers of the human body when used properly. Look it up and LOOK UP!

    After all, they are not just killing the planet, they are killing you, your children, your animals, and all that you love. This is evil personified. This is murder. This is/will be Auschwitz x 100 or 500.

  15. The reason is simple. The United States is buying gold so come the time when they have to keep the price suppressed in the paper markets they need to have the ammunition this time around to sell physical silver into the market should things ever get a bit “interesting.”

    This is also why all the Russina stuff is just noise If they wanted to mess us up all they’d have to do is buy about 30-30 billion worth of silver. If they tried, the gig would be up.

    Russia and the U.S. are in cahoots with each other and so are the Chinese. Don’t believe for a minute the monarchs are changing tunes or courses anywhere in the world.

  16. Apologies:

    correct address is

    http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org (no hyphen)

  17. Yup, no question. Something big is coming up in the fall. JP Morgan is stacking real physical to a) no get caught with their pants down again and b) to management the price of silver when whatever is going to hit is going to hit in the fall.

    sad world, that the monarchs print money, manipulate every market, and then can even go buy real stuff with it!

    I’m going to put my whole net worth into JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs since they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, to whoever they want to do it to.

  18. Dennis Morrow | May 14, 2015 at 2:21 pm | Reply

    could this be something to do with a new currency coming into play?

  19. ManAboutDallas | May 14, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Reply

    It’s being quietly diverted into some “super-weapon” that requires a lot of silver for its electrical properties; just as huge amounts of silver were required in WW2 to support the Manhattan Project, and we all know how that movie ended, don’t we?

    plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

  20. A return to a silver backed US Dollar ?
    Whatever the reason, gold and silver equate to wealth preservation. Collecting Mercury dimes and Franklin half dollars could become a profitable hobby. Numismatic values may become the icing on the cake.

  21. Hmmm, could it be that they are getting ready for whatever comes next? They know better than anyone that our current financial system is not sustainable and they will need something to instill confidence after everything falls apart. Gold is hard to come by and there is too much demand from the East to compete for whatever little Gold is available so Silver will have to do. Or maybe this is ammunition as the last attempt to wash out any remaining silver bulls and smash the price to single digit new lows? Who knows what they have planned – I only know that owning paper assets with counter party risk is asking to be fleeced by the establishment. I’d rather be out of the system.

  22. Silverwillwin | May 15, 2015 at 9:26 am | Reply

    ” for whatever little Gold is available so Silver will have to do. Or maybe this is ammunition as the last attempt to wash out any remaining silver bulls and smash the price to single digit new lows? ”

    Are you aware that there is 20 % less above ground physical silver right now than there is physical gold ?
    Wash out any remaining silver bulls ? Really ?! Highly doubt it !

    “They know better than anyone that our current financial system is not sustainable ”
    – why do people fear “they” so much ? There are very little of “they” and if you want to get a good perspective of “they” then look at the little man behind the curtain on the Wizard of Oz.

    When this whole debacle with our currency system in the U.S. finally caves in , the likenesses of “they” will have enough on their hands to keep from being put on a stake while being roasted by the angry masses.

  23. @ SRSrocco

    Great info, also I have questions…(1) Can your import and export government numbers be trusted (2) How can you import x amount and export x amount to the same country…and not use the DIFFERENCE as a final number(3) Why with Canada do we import and then export right back to them

  24. What about ETF’s?
    Imagine an ETF has a legit customer taking large deliveries. If no new shares are sold, this will show in reports, cause disruption in the markets. So a bullion bank comes in, buys the shares, and the ETF is forced to obtain bullion to back it. Net, no change in holdings or shares outstanding.
    This physical is forcefully imported by lack of other sources. And the bullion bank that coughed up the zero interest dollars for it, can access this physical now.

  25. Hi Steve,

    Do you think that the increase in US silver imports is due to an anticipation that silver demand through vehicles such as the SLV will explode later this year as the price of precious metals start their inevitable move upwards?

    P.S. By the way, when I visit your website no articles later than the 4th May are showing up.

  26. Great article Steve. I go to your home page every day and this article does not show up for me. The last article listed there is from May 4th. I would have hated to have missed this.

    Dennis

  27. Might the us gov be hoarding silver for use in weapons manufacture?

  28. Steve, any chance of doing an article on silver miners. Which ones are being managed properly and which ones to invest in?

    • Keith,

      Yes, I do plan on putting out a PAID REPORT on the top primary silver miners. While I publish public information on the top 12 primary miners as a group, I will be coming out with a report that shows which companies are the best investments going forward. This is based on totally different information and data than one would normally receive from mining analyst.

      steve

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