LBMA 2013 in Numbers So Far

Live, or very nearly, from the London Bullion Market Association's annual conference...
 
LBMA 2013 in Rome has told us what so far? asks Adrian Ash, typing furiously before the conference's next engagement.
 
9 kilograms – how much of Germany's huge gold reserves are unallocated. That's less than 1 bar of wholesale gold. Meaning it owns the other 3389.7 tonnes outright, whether in Frankfurt, the New York Fed, Banque de France or Bank of England. And yes, the bars it's going to be shipped from the NY Fed are the specific bars already stated on its allocated bar lists, said Clemens Werner, deputy head of market operations at the Bundesbank...
 
2 bars – the number owned by the Bank of England, as Matthew Hunt of the Customer Banking Division revealed. You can count those gold bars yourself in its monetary museum. Because unlike most other central banks, the UK's reserves belong to and are controlled by the Treasury. It is simply custodian, caring for Britain's (much shrunken) gold as part of the 400,000-odd large bars in its underground vaults...
 
65% – the proportion of Indian gold demand which comes from rural areas according to Shekhar Bhandari. Executive Vice President, Kotak Mahindra Bank. That makes the monsoon, wedding and traditional festive seasons key. It also prevents the government selling inflation-linked bonds or other financial products as a way of trying to stem that demand. Because rural savers simply aren't interested...
 
Just 1 or 2 – a handful of small junior gold miners, said Tom Kendall of Credit Suisse, are turning to forward sales to "hedge" their production, and lock in current prices. But that's simply to raise cash for specific projects. Like the major producers, most want to keep full exposure to the price today, a very different world to how the industry treated the bear market of the 1990s.
 
From 11% to 30% – the jump this April in implied volatility in 1-month options on the gold price. Leaping from multi-year lows, the move took 1-month volatility above the 1-year figure, noted Patrick Green, director of commodities trading at Barclays. Meaning the gold price was in stress, and pushing trading activity into shorter-dated contracts. "Any further price fall will likely mean higher volatility again," he said.
 
727 people from 316 companies – this year's new record attendance for the LBMA conference. And while it might say "London", the market meeting here in Rome this week really is global.
 
More tomorrow, the second and last day of LBMA 2013, with live news and tidbits as we get them on Bullionvault's Twitter feed.
 

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Adrian Ash runs the research desk at BullionVault, the physical gold and silver market for private investors online. Formerly head of editorial at London's top publisher of private-investment advice, he was City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning from 2003 to 2008, and is now a regular contributor to many leading analysis sites including Forbes and a regular guest on BBC national and international radio and television news. Adrian's views on the gold market have been sought by the Financial Times and Economist magazine in London; CNBC, Bloomberg and TheStreet.com in New York; Germany's Der Stern and FT Deutschland; Italy's Il Sole 24 Ore, and many other respected finance publications.

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