One week ago, when we reported the record plunge in registered gold held by the various Comex gold warehouses in general, and JPMorgan in particular, which saw the “gold coverage” ratio, or the number of paper claims through open futures interest for every ounce of deliverable gold, soar to what we then thought was a record, and unsustainable 207x, we thought this situation would be promptly rectified as a few hundred thousand ounces of eligible gold would be “adjusted” back into the “registered” category.
Not only has this not happened, but with every passing day the situation is getting progressively worse.
According to the latest Comex vault data, not only was another 157K ounces withdrawn today, but the conversion of Registered into Eligible continues, and as a result another 10% of total deliverable gold was “adjusted away”, leaving just 163,334 ounces of registered gold: the lowest in Comex history.
As a result, the ratio of Eligible to Registered gold is now a record high 41.2x in the history of the Comex.
Once again the culprit for the decline was JPM which saw not only a 122,124 ounces of Eligible gold be withdrawn, reducing the total by 13% to 750K ounces, but 8.9K ounces of registered gold was pushed into the Eligible category, in the process reducing total JPM registered gold by 45% overnight to a paltry 10,777 ounces: this amounts to only 335 kilograms of gold, or just 27 bricks of “good delivery” gold.
Finally, since aggregate gold open interest continues to remaing consistent at just about 41 million ounces of gold, today’s latest ongoing reduction in Comex deliverable gold means that as of yesterday’s close, there was a record 252 ounces of gold paper claims to every gold physical ounce of currently available and deliverable gold.
To summarize: last week we were confident that JPM would promptly adjust a few hundred thousands ounces of Eligible gold back into Registered status to silence growing concerns about Comex distress. A week later we are not as concerned by the relentless surge in paper gold dilution, as we are that JPM still has not even bothered to do this. Especially since with just 335 kilograms of gold, or less than 27 bricks, JPMorgan is now just one withdrawal request away from running out of deliverable physical gold.
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