COMEX is normally a “paper gold” market in which investors rarely convert their contracts to physical gold. But in February, requests for physical delivery of gold on the COMEX set a record, reaching 43.26 tons (1,391,000 ounces). By comparison, previous records were around 10 tons. Have recent requests by Germany, Switzerland and Venezuela to return gold home sparked concern for safety? As I’ve mentioned before, many experts estimate there is as much as 200 ounces of paper gold for every ounce of physical gold. So how many physical deliveries does it take before the paper market is broken?
This is the first time that there is such a request for physical gold delivery from the COMEX since the 70s.