3 Jun 2011

Scotia Mocatta Loses 60% Of Its Physical Silver In One Month To "Reclassification", Total Comex Registered Silver Now Under 30 Million Ounces

About a month ago we indicated that Comex depository Scotia Mocatta "lost" 25% of its Registered (aka Physical) silver after the vault encountered a "reporting reclassification" which saw 5,287,142 ounces of silver moved from Registered to Eligible status, dropping the vault's true holdings from 11.8 million ounces to 6.5 million. Naturally, the response from the peanut gallery was that this was a tempest in a teacup and it was "temporary" and a-ha, any minute it would reverse, and all shall be well, everyone would live happily ever after, and the Comex would actually have silver available for delivery purposes. We decided to not hold our breath. Which after pulling today's most recent Comex warehouse data appears to have been a prudent decision, because for the first time ever total registered silver has dropped below 30 million ounces, after experiencing a 5% overnight drop across the board, primarily driven by yet another 1,456,488 ounce "adjustment" of warehoused silver from Registered To Eligible at Scotia Mocatta. As of last night, total Scotia physical silver was now 4,740,447 ounces, a 24% drop overnight, and a massive 60% drop from the total which we captured on April 20. Still think it's temporary?
Oh, and Scotia was not alone: there were comparable reclassifications at both HSBC and Delaware. But the kicker: total silver at Scotia Mocatta has barely budged. The only thing that has changed is the shift from real silver to "Eligible", or that which has no warehouse receipt issued against it, or as was described previously "a private arrangement" which has nothing to with the Comex. This is non-deliverable silver! Thus, starting with a ratio of 11.8MM to 8.8MM ounces of Registered/Eligible (or 57%/43%) a little over a month ago (on April 19), the most recent Scotia Moccata physical silver now just 23.4% of the "total."  And just as troubling is that the total amount of silver available for dlivery has just fallen to a fresh all time low. Luckily, we have margin call driven liquidations such as today which will probably buy a few more days before registered Scotia silver hits 0 (but don't worry: it's only temporary).
Source: Comex
As a reminder, here is the same chart from April 20:

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