Your Insights From Around the World

(BANGKOKMany traders put $300,000 at a time on the counters of the hundreds of gold shops here in the city).  We want to hear what is going on in your area of the world… whether it’s about precious metal availability or premiums, inflation, political events, important local news, employment/job situation, etc.

If you would like to share an insight that you believe is important, you can place it in the comment section of this post.

The inspiration to start this new blog post came from reading one of the comments on this site about the huge demand of gold buying taking place in Bangkok.

This is what roger had to say:

“I live in Bangkok  and with the fall in price of gold yet again many of the small gold shop have removed ALL their gold bars for sale. People are buy what evers in the shops. It truly is a constant free for all. At some point the shops will be empty of gold bars. Here owning paper money is only for trading. NO ONE keeps their wealth in paper only gold.

After the weekend trade in the many businesses here the Chinese traders are queuing to exchange their Bahts for gold. Many traders put $300,000 at a time on the counters of the hundreds of gold shops here in the city.. Buying gold is about as difficult as buying a hot dog from a vender on a street corner in America .. NO name is asked for. NO asking where ya get the money from, NO ,where ya live , NOTHING WHATSOEVER. No paperwork . The ONLY words from the shop keepers is  Thank for using my shop.

This is the land of the free.”


Again, it would be nice to know what important events or updates are taking place in your town, village or country.  This post will be updated every week.  If you have something that you think is interesting, please share it with us.

Enter your email address to receive updates each time we publish new content.

I hope that you find useful. Please, consider contributing to help the site remain public. All donations are processed 100% securely by PayPal. Thank you, Steve

30 Comments on "Your Insights From Around the World"

  1. Here in the UK we are obliged to pay 20% tax on purchases of Silver.
    There is no tax on Gold though…?
    Mind you it is possible to buy silver in Germany and pay their tax of 7% – the distance is not too huge. I think it is crazy that here in the center of the Metal Markets, LBMA and such mug punters buying reasonable large might go to Frankfurt to buy Silver?
    In Taiwan Silver is hardly considered but people do buy Gold, although I do not think it is on a big scale, as in China- reportedly.

    • Felix… it is quite amazing that some countries charge a 20% vat tax on purchasing silver. I believe this is just another way to motivate individuals from buying the second most important precious metal. What I find interesting is the lack of silver coin demand in Germany over the recent years.

      According to the 2012 World Silver Survey, the Federal Republic of Germany sold 9.7 million ounces of silver commemorative 10 Euro coins in 2003. However, in 2011 this fell to only 3.3 mil oz.

      On the other hand, as you correctly stated, the Chinese increased their mintage of the Silver Pandas from 2.3 million oz in 2003 to 8 million oz in 2012.

      Once the public realizes just how valuable gold and silver are as “REAL STORES OF WEALTH”, I believe demand for silver all over the world will outpace gold.


      • UK Silverstackers | May 19, 2013 at 4:56 pm |

        I dont think Pandas were 2.3 million, probably nearer 0.3 milion in 2003…. Dont have info at hand at mo, but pretty sure the 2003 1oz Silver Panda had a max mintage of 600,000 and doubtful the rest added up to millions 🙂

        Keep Stackin’

        • UK SilverStackers… you are correct. The 1 oz Silver Panda had a 600,000 mintage since the early 2000’s. However, they did sell other silver coins. Let me correct that by saying the Chinese Govt. sold a total of 2.3 million oz of silver coins in 2003 with 600,000 being 1 oz silver Pandas.


    • Estonia has no VAT Tax for silver coins. You can find some dealers online and buy Silver Eagles WITHOUT Paying 20% tax…;)))…

  2. My local coin store here in the USA always has silver products available for purchase. To my knowledge they have not run out of ASEs like some of the larger online players. Tonight their price for a single ASE is $26.35. What I have noticed is the generic silver rounds (that I commonly buy) are no longer shiny or plentiful. My last visit they had maybe 50 assorted generic rounds but most are in terrible shape. I bought ASEs instead.

    I am also buying PSLV. Yes, I get the hold it to own it line, but I have worked with Eric Sprott before and find him to be an amazing talent. Bottom line, you can buy physical silver from PSLV for less than spot pricing right now. I continue to slowly add to my stack and my PSLV holdings. The savings from PSLV is substantial and certainly offsets the funds expenses.

    Just my observation. Love the new website Steve!

  3. Our two local silver dealers in our town in Virginia have been pretty sparse lately. I picked up some 90% last weekend from he one dealer. We talked about the lack of sellers he has been seeing and lots of new buyers. We called our other coin dealer on 5-16 and he old us he was sold out of all silver and gold and to try back on Monday. I watched a nothing special silver eagle go for 38.54 + 1.99 to ship this morning on ebay so much for spot price lol.

  4. Metallurgy | May 19, 2013 at 6:20 pm |

    ZH lurker here, thought I’d drop my 2 cents.

    I concur with Tas above on the rounds vs ASE/Maples/Philharmonics. I buy every two weeks (payday) for the last several years and any day their is a serious drop (I can safely say that I have never missed a bottom on Ag). Been a heavy buyer of Ag/Au since Obama was elected in his first term.

    My dealer gets his entire inventory of gold bought out several times a month. This also happens with the legal tender silver coins (LTSC) a couple times a month. I will buy rounds in those cases when there is no LTSC left on the shelf to buy or 1/10 ozt ASE’s.

    My dealer put 10 1 ozt gold bars out on Friday afternoon and some guy walked in not 5 minutes later and bought all 10.

    Those of us in the know, pay cash. No questions asked, no receipt, no paperwork. Just a thank you very much and walk out the door. For instance, my brother was told by the owner on a 12 ozt ASE round he paid cash for that it would cost him $22.50 more using a Check Card.

    The lines to buy are just crazy at the counter some days. Mom and Dads coming in with their kids, groups of Indians and American Indians, groups of construction workers, groups of Asian folks, people selling their scrap gold and silver then turning around and buying bullion.

    Seems a lot of ethnic people organize together and come in as group to buy.

    I’ve been in there a couple days where the shelves were all but bare.

    IMO, sales have been steadily increasing as prices have been dropping since I have been buying from this store.

  5. In Australia, a few weeks back, the largest bullion dealer in the country was out of about 90% of their gold products, and probably 20% of their silver products.

    Clients were being told that there was a couple of weeks wait for physical delivery, and the lines outside the dealer was 70-80+ strong.

    Funny to see the price dropping so incredibly…

  6. shanghai futures exchange is the second most actively traded market for silver.
    its silver inventory has been declining steadily since early this year from over 1100 tons to 820 tons.

    its inventory doesn’t have breakdown details like “eligible” or “registered” like comex. but 820 tons for china is peanuts.

    track silver inventory at shanghai futures exchange here:

    great job! srsrocco! i’m your fan!

    • Jude Jin.. I really appreciate you sharing that link and information on the Shanghai Futures Exchange silver inventories. I didn’t realize that they only had 820 tonnes. I did see your update that an additional 19 tonnes of silver were removed.

      Yes, you are way ahead of your fellow citizens as it pertains to owning silver as a store of wealth. There will only be so much gold to go around. When the great STAMPEDE in gold and silver really begins in earnest… silver will be in much more demand due to its affordability

      Please keep us posted on the inventory levels.


  7. i’m a regular buyer of silver bullions in shanghai. from my experience, silver bullion sales in shanghai in tonnage is only a fraction of gold bullion. silver bullions is probably 5 tons per anum.

    there’s only around hundreds of ppl in a city of 30 million who buy silver bullions as much as i do(i have 60 kilos of silver).
    in china, 10% of ppl trade stocks, 0.1-1% of ppl invest in gold, 0.001-0.01% of ppl invest in silver.

    US citizens are way ahead in awareness of silver based on the silver eagle and other bullion sales figure.

  8. For those that may have noticed the diminishing spread between WTI and Brent, here is an interesting, relevant quote from May’s Hat Trick Letter released today.

    “A nasty acrid dire footnote was added by EuroRaj, always on the scene, here sharing a strong rumor out of London. The Anglo-American bankers are trying to bring about a convergence of the spread between the West Texas and Brent crude oil prices. Afterwards, the WTexas posted price will be removed permanently. Regard any such initiative for convergence as a loud signal for the expected sunset for the Petro-Dollar defacto standard itself. The pillars that support the USDollar are crumbling at a time when the USTBond core pillars are fashioned from interest rate derivatives, a phony paper shell, and empty gold vaults, finally being exposed. Meanwhile, the Petro-Dollar faces a major energy brother threat from the Gazprom-led natural gas cartel that is forming.”
    End Excerpt

    btw, great to see the RSRocco Report

  9. silver inventory at shanghai futures exchange had a 19 ton drawdown today, down to 804 tons now. actually, it was 1111 tons on April 15, so the drawdown is almost completely been after the april raid.

    OIs of the most actively traded Dec. 13 and June 13 contracts total 2600 tons. OIs increased by around 750 tons since the April raid.

    i’d guess that most of new weaker shorts are met by stronger hands. like today, OI didn’t budge at all.

  10. Here in the Soviet Socialist State of California one pays a 15% CA sales tax unless one purchases over $1500 worth, and then the tax is waived. Even polit bureau cronies know which side of the income divide bread is buttered.

    My favorite LCS is bare of silver pre-’65 coins, rounds – generic or national mints, and bars. Gold coins and bars are also unavailable, all that remains are some vials of gold dust. I don’t have the time or inclination for the numismatics that are still available.

  11. today’s reversal marks the bottom. what perfect charts they painted! 100% retracement! 20 to 50 and back to 20. big hands can paint the charts in whatever retracement they want!

    they’re done robbing the longs and now are set to rob the shorts.

    gold’s correction is much shallower than the 70s because in the 70s, gold moved from 35 to 200 in 5 years. when you moved much quickly you need a much faster and deeper correction. while this time it took 13 years to go from 300 to 1900 and we had a big correction in 08 along the way.

    damn the manipulators! what they do in the market actually pales to what they do in propaganda against gold/silver. how buffett and munger described gold disgusts me!
    gentleman, civilized, or monster? vampire in disguise?

    i’m watching too much vampire diaries these days to kill the boring times.

    we need to celebrate! the worst is behind us now!!

    • Judejin… yes the commercial bullion banks have orchestrated the paper sell-off and have transferred the shorts to the Large Specs & Hedge Funds. I get a laugh at analysts who discuss supply and demand fundamentals in silver. Some point to a surplus as a reason for lower prices.

      I am surprised these sort of analysts can still make a living. The amount of LEVERAGED PAPER GARBAGE out there dwarfs anything close to the pathetic little annual silver surplus — that is, if there really is one.

      For example:

      The FED is buying $85 billion a month in worthless garbage called U.S. Treasuries & MBS. If a country or a sovereign wealth fund wanted to buy say 100 million oz of silver, it would cost $3 billion at $30 an ounce. Thus, a great future investment would take one tenth of a percent of all FED buying of these assets for one year.

      Hilarious… isn’t it?


      • humanity is all about compassion, honesty, and reason. i’m just amazed that old folks like buffett can be so unreasonable when it comes to gold/silver. it’s impossible that he doesn’t understand the fed is hurting the world and benefiting him. it’s impossible that he doesn’t understand that gold at least is as useful as other jewelry and valuables and thus hold its value thru ages. so he lied and didn’t dare to challenge the evil. given his wealth, status, and age, i’d expect much more courage and humanity from him.

        there’s very little of humanity left in him when it comes to gold. why? if one wants to win big in the world, one needs to sell one’s soul to the devil. buffett sold it a long time ago.

        vampire diaries: everybody had a choice: to turn or not to turn.

  12. Robert Happek | May 20, 2013 at 9:54 pm |

    Warren Buffett is not a fool. He is in fact, very smart. He understands all the arguments in favor of gold very well. After all, his father, Howard Buffett, was a gold bug and young Warren had to listen at family dinners to his father explaining in great detail all virtues of a gold standard and all the evils of fiat currency. It would be difficult to find any better explanation for the importance of gold than the following famous paper by Howard Buffett, his father.‎

    So why does Warren do not like gold? The answer is that Warren is obsessed with the idea of infinite wealth. He firmly believes in the validity of the compound interest formula, that is, the religious belief that we all can get infinitely rich by subscribing to the idea of eternal exponential growth. Indeed, regardless how small growth rates are, as long as they are positive and as long as we wait patiently enough, then we will be all very rich. Warren does not like gold simply because gold does not grow. It just sits there and does nothing. It does not even corrode. After 1000 years, it is still there unchanged. For that reason, gold is not an asset in which Warren would ever invest. He rather invests in a healthy company which grows in sales, market share and profits. His most desirable asset is a company like Coca Cola which produces a very simple product, cheap enough to be sold to the masses. As long as world population is growing, Coca Cola will keep growing. Since the drink produced is very simple, and most consumers like sweet drinks, the success of Coca Cola in the market place is highly certain.

    Gold stands for finite wealth. There are less than 300,000 tons of gold in the world (under ground or above ground). In Warren Buffetts opinion, that is peanuts in comparison to what he could accumulate if he could live long enough.

    The antagonism of Warren Buffett against gold comes in final analysis down to the difference between quality and quantity. Warren Buffett prefers to drink 10 cherry cokes a day instead of having one high quality glass of wine. He prefers to buy companies which produce junk food but grow strongly. He would never invest into a high quality restaurant chain serving french gourmet type of food. He is not impressed by the intrinsic qualities of precious metals as he is not impressed by high quality wine or a high quality art painting. However, he will buy precious metals if they are cheap enough. That is, precious metals are for Warren Buffett only a tool to make more paper money. All his dreams are about accumulating as much paper wealth as possible. He is not concerned about notions like freedom, quality of food, beauty, sustainability etc. The abstract power to control the flow of billions of Dollars in paper wealth, that is what excites Warren. He does not attach any importanve to currency. He happily pays his bills with a credit card as all monetary matters in his view come down to the balance sheet statement. Balance sheet statements – that is his world.

    Like Soros, Buffett is too big in order to be a gold bug. Soros is a gold bug, but he prefers to hide his convictions behind public statements which can easily be viewed as anti-gold.

    • if buffett like to drink coca cola, why can’t he see that other ppl like wearing gold jewely and eat gold leaf on a cake?

      he understand inflation perfectly well so that his equity holdings are those companies that are most apt at reaping profits out of inflation, passing inflation onto consumers.

      if he understand inflation, he must understand how fiat money works. if he understand how fiat money works, i’m sure he understand expanding profits under an inflationary regime actually corrodes shareholders’ equities(in real terms) because profits are inflated on a depreciating cost base.

      no equities can hold values forever. a lot of US bluechips carry huge prestige and brand value just because USA is perceived as the super power and no. 1 nation on earth. but, as we all know, USA is fastly turning into a banana repulic.

      i don’t think buffett is too big. he could easily buy up some miners for example. the way he ridicules gold is way out of line.

      i think deep inside he understands all this. he just lacks the courage to expose it. he never criticizes the status quo in any significant manners.

    • Robert… I couldn’t agree more with you assessment of Buffet’s views on gold and the market.


  13. shanghai futures exchange:
    1. silver inventory at shanghai futures exchange is 794 tons, down another 10 tons from yesterday.weak shorts were squeezed. OIs dropped by over 20%. volume is around 6000 tons for monday and tuesday, highest since silver futuers started trading last may.

    2. gold inventory is neglible. gold futures is pure paper game. weak shorts were squeezed too. OIs dropped by 10%.
    physical trading and delivery is conducted at shanghai gold exchange.

    shanghai gold exchange: delivery since may 1st is only 1 ton, shorts have been paying penalty to the longs for failing to deliver as much as the longs demanded everyday.

    2. the last couple days, even the silver shorts have been paying penalty to the longs for delivering less than the longs demanded.
    inventories at shanghai gold exchange is not available.

    • Judejin… I took some time and looked at the link to the Shanghai Inventories. I noticed back in the summer of 2012, they had no silver warehouse stocks whatsoever. Do you know when they started to hold silver in the warehouse?


  14. JudeJin, thank you for your comments.

  15. Robert Happek | May 21, 2013 at 9:32 am |

    A postscript regarding Warren Buffett and gold: Warren understands perhaps better than anybody else that our financial system is a big Ponzi scheme. He also understands that his enormous accumulation of capital was made possible in a economy supperted by an enormous growth of credit. He is fully aware that his wealth was ultimately financed by debts others have to pay. Since such a credit creation would not be possible under a gold standard, Buffett, dislikes gold. Under a gold standard, not even Buffett would be able to accumulate billions just by financial speculation. He acquired his company, Bershire Hathaway, as a failing company, closed all production facilities and used the company only as a shell for carrying out financial trading. Financial trading and credit growth are in final analysis one and the same thing. When the central bank creates new credit, the money flows first to financial markets before it enters main street. So Buffett likes debt and hates gold which is the opposite of debt.

  16. Just got back from my LCS. I am in the US, a major west coast city. They couldn’t fulfill my request for 20 oz. of silver. Instead I depleted my accounts and went for 1 oz. gold. Seems to be a run on bullion: The dealer told me they were seeing a 50:1 ratio for buyers to sellers.

  17. bruinjoe93 | May 21, 2013 at 10:21 pm |

    Congratulations on your site Steve. I’ll be a regular visitor. Thanks for all your hard work.

  18. keep up the great work, getting inputs from around the world is a brilliant idea.

Comments are closed.