LBMA Silver Inventories fall to a near 6 Year Low below 1 billion ounces

One development within the treasured metals markets which has but to get widespread protection however deserves extra consideration is the plummeting inventories of bodily silver within the London vaults of the London Bullion Market Affiliation (LBMA). These LBMA vaults comprise vaults in and round London run by the bullion banks JP Morgan, HSBC and ICBC Commonplace Financial institution, in addition to the London vaults of three safety operators, Brinks, Malca-Amit and Loomis. London sub-Billion Market Affiliation


Quietly, and nearly beneath the radar, the amount of silver held within the LBMA vaults has been constantly hemorrhaging for 7 straight months now. Newest knowledge from the LBMA as of the tip of June 2022 reveals that the LBMA vaults now maintain solely 997.4 million ozs of silver (31,023 tonnes).  

In comparison with the tip of June 2021 when LBMA silver inventories stood at 1.18 billion ozs (36,706 tonnes), the LBMA vaults’ June 2022 month-end silver inventories at the moment are 182.7 million ozs (5,683 tonnes) decrease than a 12 months in the past, in different phrases a whopping 15.48% decrease in comparison with June 2021.

LBMA vault silver holdings have misplaced 182.7 million ozs within the final 12 months. Supply: LBMA web site

Notably, most of this freefall in London silver holdings has occurred because the finish of November 2021, with LBMA silver inventories having constantly fallen every month since then. From the tip of November 2021 when the LBMA London vaults reported holding 1.17 million ozs of silver (36,422 tonnes), silver inventories have fallen by a cumulative 173.5 million ozs (5,398 tonnes). That’s a 14.82% drop over 7 months from finish of November 2021 to the tip of June 2022.

Beneath 1 Billion Ounces

As well as, these June 2022 LBMA silver holdings are

    • the bottom LBMA silver inventories since December 2016 and
    • the primary time since November 2016 that the LBMA silver inventories have fallen beneath 1 billion ozs

Over the precisely 6 12 months interval since month-to-month LBMA silver stock knowledge was first revealed in July 2016, there has by no means earlier than been a 7 month interval (nor a 6 month interval) during which the LBMA silver holdings fell constantly every month.

The one partially comparable time interval throughout the information collection was when LBMA silver holdings fell constantly in every of 5 months between April and August 2020, and that was through the LBMA – COMEX (Change for Bodily (EFP)) disaster when the LBMA bullion banks in panic mode had been pressured to move big quantities of silver (and gold) bars from the LBMA London vaults to the COMEX vaults in New York to satisfy the supply necessities on futures contracts in order to forestall gold and silver costs transferring into actual value discovery mode.

Over that 5 month interval between April and August 2020, the LBMA silver inventories dropped by 102.2 million ozs (i.e. a drop of 8.7%). However to place it into context, the present hemorrhaging of silver from London of 182.7 million ozs that has been ongoing since June 2021 is now approaching a determine that’s twice as giant because the April – August 2020 LBMA silver vault outflows from London.

Lack of Underpinning

On its web site, the LBMA disingenuously claims that the silver (and gold) held in its London vaults “present an essential perception into London’s skill to underpin the bodily OTC market.

What the LBMA doesn’t say nevertheless, is that of the 31,023 tonnes of silver that it claims was held within the LBMA London vault warehouses on the finish of June 2022, a large 19,422 tonnes, or 62.6% of this complete, represented silver held within the LBMA London vaults that was owned by Change Traded Funds (ETFs) such because the iShares Silver Belief (SLV), the Wisdomtree Bodily Silver ETC (PHAG), and the Aberdeen (abrdn) Bodily Silver Shares ETF (SIVR).

ETFs held 19,422 tonnes of silver in LBMA vaults in London as of month-end 2022. Supply:

Which signifies that as of month-end June 2002, solely 11,601 tonnes of silver, or 37.4% of the 31,023 tonne LBMA vault complete, was not held inside ETFs.

Primarily based on a fast calculation to replace these June month-end figures with knowledge from 25-26 July 2022, the present place of ETFs which retailer their silver within the LBMA London vaults and the quantity of silver which they retailer in London is as follows:

SLV     ishares Silver Belief      12,357.7 tonnes          

SSLN   iShares Bodily Silver ETC      710.3 tonnes

PHAG Wisdomtree Bodily Silver ETC    2,514.2 tonnes

PHPP  Wisdomtree Bodily PM ETC    42.7 tonnes

SIVR    Aberdeen Bodily Silver Shares ETF     1,466.0 tonnes

GLTR  Aberdeen PM Baskets shares ETF     382.7 tonnes

PMAG   ETFS Bodily Silver   239.0 tonnes

PMPM  ETFS  Bodily PM Basket (a part of PMAG complete)

SSLV      Invesco bodily silver ETC  355.8 tonnes

4 ETFs    Xtrackers Bodily silver ETCs (4 mixed)   766.6 tonnes

Collectively these 13 ETFs at present maintain 18,835 tonnes of silver within the LBMA London vaults.

However there’s extra. As a result of in addition to the ETFs listed above, extra silver which is a part of the LBMA vault figures is held by purchasers of BullionVault and GoldMoney. BullionVault purchasers maintain 491.2 tonnes of silver within the LBMA vaults in London, whereas GoldMoney purchasers maintain 187.8 tonnes within the LBMA vaults. Including these two figures to the ETF complete signifies that as of 26 July 2022, a large 19,514 tonnes of silver claimed to be held within the LBMA London vaults is held by silver-backed ETFs and personal shopper buyers, and has nothing to do with “London’s skill to underpin the bodily OTC market”.

However wait, there’s extra, as a result of whereas the silver inventories held by ETFs and platforms comparable to BullionVault and GoldMoney are ‘clear’, or in different phrases ‘reported bullion shares’, there are additionally custodian vaulted shares within the LBMA London vaults which go unreported, these being the allotted silver holdings of the wealth administration sector, comparable to bodily silver held by funding establishments, household workplaces and Excessive Web Value people.  


Again in February 2021 through the preliminary weeks of the #SilverSqueeze, it’s possible you’ll recall that at the moment, ETFs storing their silver in London accounted for an unimaginable 85% of all of the silver held within the LBMA London vaults. At the moment, the London LBMA vaults claimed to carry 33,600 tonnes of silver whereas ETFs accounted for 28,700 tonnes of that complete, leaving lower than 5000 tonnes of bodily silver as a residual to satisfy all different silver demand.

See BullionStar article ‘“Houston, we have now a Downside”: 85% of Silver in London already held by ETFs’.

This led the iShares Silver Belief (SLV) to quietly change its prospectus on 3 February 2021 the place it added a warning that:“The demand for silver could quickly exceed accessible provide that’s acceptable for supply to the Belief, which can adversely have an effect on an funding within the Shares”, and that “Licensed Members [market makers of the Trust] could also be unable to accumulate ample silver that’s acceptable for supply to the Belief… as a consequence of a restricted then-available provide coupled with a surge in demand for the Shares.

See BullionStar article “#SilverSqueeze hits London as SLV warns of Restricted Accessible Silver Provide”.

On condition that at the moment there have been (on paper) about 5000 tonnes of silver in London that weren’t held in ETFs, however on the identical time the iShares Silver Belief (SLV) panicked that it couldn’t supply provide, this response of SLV reveals that numerous the LBMA vault silver that’s not in ETFs (the residual) will not be accessible on the market, and never accessible to lease by the bullion banks.    

This identical panic was additionally commented on by consultancy Metals Focus, in of all locations, an April 2021 report it wrote for the LBMA, the place it mentioned that “there have been considerations that London would run out of silver if ETP [ETF] demand remained at a excessive stage” and “fears emerged as as to if there was sufficient silver [in London] ought to demand proceed at this tempo.

See BullionStar article ‘LBMA acknowledges “Shopping for Frenzy” in Silver Market and silver scarcity Fears’. 

LBMA Silver warehouse?

Silver Market Deficit

Whereas this time round in July 2022, the ETFs and different clear holdings account for about 63% of all of the silver within the LBMA London vaults, the scenario for the LBMA continues to be worrying. LBMA silver vault inventories are at a 5 and a half 12 months low, and in complete are lower than 1 billion ounces. The declining stock development continues to be intact every month since November of final 12 months.

However why is there a big outflow of silver from the LBMA London vaults? Why has a web 173.5 million ozs (5,398 tonnes) of silver left the LBMA vaults since early December 2021?

COMEX eligible stock (silver which isn’t registered for COMEX buying and selling), doesn’t clarify it, since COMEX eligible stock has not likely moved a lot total throughout that point.

COMEX eligible class silver inventories, 2 years, finish date 26 July 2022. Supply:

COMEX registered stock (which is out there for COMEX buying and selling) could clarify as small portion of the London outflows, however not lots. COMEX registered stock have been plummeting constantly through the 12 months thus far and truly have continued to plummet since early 2021. COMEX registered stock is now at a 4 12 months low of 59.63 million ozs, having begun 2022 at 80 million ozs (and begun 2021 at 150 million ozs. However nonetheless, a web 20 million ozs disappearing from registered COMEX this 12 months doesn’t clarify a web outflow of over 160 million ozs of silver from London in the identical timeframe.   

COMEX registered class silver inventories, 2 years, finish date 26 July 2022. Supply:

Extra realistically, the truth that the worldwide silver market is in deficit this 12 months (with demand larger than provide) – and after having been in deficit in 2021 for the primary time in years – may also help clarify why the London silver inventories (and the COMEX registered inventories) are being drained.

As a result of as everybody is aware of, when demand is larger than provide the market has to search out provide by tapping above floor stockpiles, each reported inventories (such because the LBMA and COMEX stockpiles), and likewise unreported inventories (these custodian stockpiles which stay opaque and secretive all over the world).  

In case you have a look at the demand – provide knowledge from the Silver Institute, bodily silver provide is rising very slowly and will probably be about 32,000 tonnes for 2022. On the demand facet, demand for silver is rising strongly in all elements, from industrial demand to photovoltaic demand, to jewellery and to silverware. And by way of investor demand (for cash and bars), 2022 is shaping as much as be at the very least as robust as 2021.


Renewed energy within the #SilverSqueeze motion with a momentum in taking bodily silver off the market would undoubtedly be an actual headache once more for the bullion banking cartel. For that reason the bullion financial institution paper merchants are frequently motivated to color the tape and produce down the paper buying and selling generated silver value, whereas not permitting it to interrupt out to new multi 12 months highs above $30.

Likewise, as witnessed in early 2021, the bullion banking cartel is frightened of the silver-backed ETFs gobbling up larger percentages of the London LBMA vault shares. In case you had been a detective, you may say that this explains why, since mid April, the silver value has been falling. As a result of since mid April, there’s a robust optimistic correlation between sharp falls within the silver value and sharp falls within the quantity of silver held in silver-backed ETFs (comparable to in SLV and the Deutsche XTrackers ETFs). It’s as if they’re inducing the ETFs to shed silver by making a decrease silver value to actually flush silver out of the ETFs.  

The shut optimistic correlation between the silver value and silver ETF holdings. Supply:

This flushing out serves two functions.

a) it creates a unfavorable psychology and prevents ETF buyers including shopping for strain which may break the LBMA shell recreation and result in a scenario the place there may be not sufficient steel in London to satisfy ETF silver demand

b) it flushes out current silver from the ETFs that may then be channeled off into assembly bodily silver demand requests coming in from everywhere in the world.

Every month on the fifth enterprise day, the LBMA publishes the LBMA silver vault holdings for the tip of the earlier month. With the subsequent month-to-month replace (for month-end July) due out on 5 August, it will likely be intriguing to see if the London silver inventories could make it “8 in a row” with one other month-to-month fall, and so break the present report, or whether or not the subsequent set of knowledge (with a little bit of LBMA tweaking) will make a turnaround and buck the development.