Over the past 35 days the spread between the daily AM and PM gold price fixes set in London and in Shanghai have steadily moved apart as the physical markets in China break away from the prices set in the Western paper markets.
Back in late October we began to see the difference in price grow to around $5, with the spread then moving to a difference of $7 just two weeks later. But with the London and Comex paper markets crushing the paper spot price back under $1200 per ounce since the Presidential elections on Nov. 8, the physical markets in Shanghai have not seen fit to accept these prices based on the actual rising demand in their own exchanges, and are reflecting it in price as the spread on Nov. 25 is now a whopping $15 difference.
The gold premium on the Shanghai Gold Exchange soared as high as $30 Thursday before easing back to a still historically high level of around $15 on Friday, reports MKS (Switzerland) S.A. On Thursday, the “feature of the day was the SGE premium, which rose to an amazing $30 over the loco London gold price, the loftiest levels seen since 2013,” says Sam Laughlin, precious-metals trader with MKS. “The difference between then and now, however, is now the high premium seems to be more a factor of a supply shortage in mainland China as opposed to outright demand. As a result, despite the high premiums this week, the turnover has not been anything enormous.” The premium fell by roughly half on Friday, he continues. “While still elevated, we did some fatigue creeping into the Shanghai premium today, 'easing' to around $15 relative to loco London gold.” - Kitco
As central and bullion banks in the West continue to beat down the price of gold in their paper derivative markets, the spread between the Asian physical and Western paper gold prices will continue to widen. And at a certain point, producers of gold will find it much more profitable to simply ship their metals directly to China rather than to continue to supply the Comex or LBMA, who's manipulation of the spot price using 100's of naked short contracts no longer reflects the true price of the precious metal.