Are we seeing signs of a real silver shortage? This is a topic I just can't duck, so to speak.
Earlier this week, I noted that the US Mint had run out of 2013 Silver Eagles. Since we have hardly even begun 2013, I thought that was rather interesting. Maybe even alarming.
Silver Eagle sales have already surpassed 5 million this month. We will easily eclipse Jan. 2012 sales of 6 million if and when the US Mint resumes sales later this month. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/18/usa-mint-coins-idUSL1E9CI02A20130118
There are rumors circulating that Apple has delayed the launch of one of it's computers for three months. That type of delay is unheard of at Apple. One man, a supplier/subcontractor, is claiming that the delay has been caused by a silver shortage. Apparently silver is used for making the screens in Apple computers. http://www.silverdoctors.com/is-ted-butlers-silver-panic-imminent-apple-contractor-claims-new-imac-production-delayed-over-silver-shortage/
I can't find any way to verify this. I tend to think that it's true simply because Apple, or any other corporation needing a given commodity at best price, would certainly not shout from the rooftops that it needs silver desperately and thus... drive up the price of silver. China is where Apple produces their product. China refuses to disclose mining production and gold/silver supplies. China hordes precious metals- it does not export them.
So not finding any real, published reason for this delay- tends to make sense and validate it.
There has been huge activity in the Comex vaults. I tend to discount paper trading almost entirely because I think there are other methods of actually securing real silver. Buying on the Comex would be my very last choice. Most folks would buy directly from the people mining silver. The enormous activity in silver is hard to ignore. Here is the Thursday link from Harvey Organ's blog where millions of ounces of silver are being moved about on a rather consistent basis. This has been a daily occurrence for a few weeks now. http://harveyorgan.blogspot.com/
The great trust buyer, Eric Sprott says silver demand is huge. Here's a great read from last month. http://sprottasset.com/markets-at-a-glance/why-are-%28smart%29-investors-buying-50-times-more-physical-silver-than-gold/
This past week, I had been watching the silver market daily waiting for some sort of pullback in the price of silver. There wasn't any. With the price at 32, we are only nominally off the lows of last year. As I gaze at charts, including the great CFTC silver takedown of 1 May of 2011, I can't help but think that silver has to go higher. At least to the 38 level and rather quickly. That would be a 20% gain and I think we will easily make that by Jun 1.
The problem with any kind of silver shortage is that it is easily obscured by paper markets. You truly can't tell any more. So here's the deal. If it has a bill (Silver Eagle sales) feathers (Apple delay) webbed feet (enormous activity in silver vaults) and price is rising (quacking) then it's probably a duck.