Central banks have pretty much stopped selling gold bullion, which is very important. In 1999, a number of central banks in Europe formed an alliance and agreed that they would not sell more than 400 tonnes of gold bullion per year. The agreement was called the Central Bank Gold Agreement (CBGA). In 2004, the CBGA was renewed again; this time the limit was 500 tonnes. Once again, it was renewed for another five years in 2009, and the limit is back to the sale of no more than 400 tonnes of gold bullion per year.
The chart below shows how much gold bullion the central banks in Europe sold in each period of the CBGA. (Source: World Gold Council web site, last accessed October 11, 2013.)
Sales in Tonnes
* Sales are until 2013.
Notice anything different? The central banks in Europe have put the brakes on their sales of gold bullion. In fact, from September 27, 2012 to September 26, 2013, these central banks only sold 5.1 tonnes of gold bullion! This is hands down the lowest amount sold since the agreement started in 1999.
When it comes to stocks, if owners of a stock aren’t selling and there’s a significant number of buyers who want to buy, the price of the stock usually goes up as the simple rule of economics come into play: supply and demand.
Sadly, when it comes to gold bullion prices, this is not the case. Gold bullion prices are actually going down despite less supply and more demand. The price action in the gold market doesn’t make sense. What if all the conspiracy theories I keep reading about in respect to gold bullion prices being manipulated are right?
As I ponder manipulation in the gold bullion market, I heard recently that the U.S. Justice Department is looking into manipulation in the $5.0-trillion-a-day foreign exchange market. Traders in big banks around the global economy are accused of manipulating key exchange rates. (Source: Reuters, October 11, 2013.) If the biggest market in the global economy can be manipulated, why can’t the gold bullion market be manipulated?
I’m sticking to my guns; the depressed prices of well-managed senior and junior gold-producing companies are a screaming opportunity for investors.