The inventory addition on 17th January 2014 from the SPDR GLD trade spreadsheet finally showed up in the bars list data on 23rd January 2014 (delayed because of the US holiday). I was mildly surprised to see that all the bars added (i.e. 100%), had been seen before, i.e. they were dark bullion for a time before being 'added' back to the ledger. The average rate for dark bullion discovery is typically 30% of added gold so this is unusual. For most of the time, these bars have been sitting in the vault, from as far back as 2009, this is the breakdown by refiner:
Below is a method I am developing for GLD inventory visualization, sorry for the crudity - bear with me, I will explain it.
What you're looking at here is an approximate depiction of the history of these 600 bars. Vertically = one pixel per bar, horizontally = date, one pixel for each of the 617 GLD bar list we have on record (yes, forms a square for this sample size). All these bars show as gold in the last vertical pixel, which was the bar list from the 23rd Jan (click to enlarge).
- The grey strip along the middle (19 bars) means that this block was not introduced to the inventory until recently (approx. August 2013).
- The big black block in the middle right (61 bars) means that these originally went missing last year - approximately July 2013. This is different to the pallets around it which only disappeared recently.
In conclusion, although we have a better view of what the bars are doing, we still don't have an explanation of why this is occurring in the vault. Here are my observations:
- These patterns would be difficult to fake using random data. If your belief system still maintains that the activity in GLD vault inventory is fraudulent, that idea gets stretched even more as we continue to tease out these patterns.
- Most of the added gold is from stuff recently removed, indicating it is nearby (i.e. not out of the vault with a range of a few weeks). Some of the added gold came from July 2013 so there's a question mark over the other gold removed since July 2013, i.e. how much else is there, in the vault? This last 1½ pallets was not evenly distributed (i.e. fragmented), does that mean anything specifically?