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London vaults saw record gold inventories in March - LBMA

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(Kitco News) - Gold played a critical role in financial markets as the global economy grounded to a halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest trade data from the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA).

In its latest clearing statistics, published Wednesday the LBMA said that as of end March, London vaults held a record high of 8,515 tonnes of gold, valued at a record high of $440.5 billion. The vaults also help a record high of 36,570 tonnes of silver, valued at $16.4 billion.

This equates to approximately 681,239 gold bars and 1,218,984 silver bars,” the LBMA said in the report.

However the latest trade data shows that interest in gold and silver slowed slightly in May, in a continued downtrend after unprecedented activity in March.

The number of gold ounces transferred in May decreased to 22.3 million ounces a decrease of 6.5% month-over-month; however, on an annual basis, trading activity was 20% higher compared to 2019, the LBMA said.
The corresponding value of gold transferred fell by 4.6% month-on-month but was 60% higher year-on-year at $38.2 billion per day, the LBMA said. There was an average of 3,900 transfers per day in May, down by 10.8% the month, with clearers settling on average 5,723 ounces per transfer.

Meanwhile, in the silver market, the LBMA said 295.5 million ounces were transferred in May, which was 5.1% higher month-on-month and 40% higher year-on-year.

The corresponding value transferred was a daily average of $4.8 billion, which was 13.5% lower from the prior month and 55% higher than in the same period a year ago. The number of transfers daily in May averaged 2,224, which was 22.3% higher than the prior month, with the clearers settling on average 132,906 ounces per transfer.  

Increased interest in silver helped push the average gold-silver ratio in May to 105.7 points down from April s average record high of 111.9.

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