There is a little-known feature offered by the Comex called EFPs, which is short-hand for Exchange of Futures for Physicals. These are transactions in which a Comex futures contract is exchanged for an offsetting position in the physical market. These transactions are done off the Comex in privately negotiated deals.
Here’s an example of how it normally works. Let’s assume you want to take delivery of an August futures contract, and the firm that sold you the contract doesn’t have the metal in the Comex vaults. So the short calls you up and agrees to deliver the metal to you in another vault, at a price and on the terms the two of you negotiate.
Here’s another point worth thinking about. In normal markets the shorts who are obligated to deliver physical metal do so as soon as possible at the beginning of the delivery month for two reasons. First, by delivering metal on the first day, they don’t pay storage charges for the rest of the month. Second, the sooner they deliver, the sooner they get paid for the metal they are selling.
It used to be that EFPs were mainly used to sort out a small number of positions at month end, but last week’s EFP volume was huge. It was 111 tonnes, which is about two weeks of annual production. That is a huge volume, and the fact that this activity is taking place at the end of the month means the shorts are trying to put off delivery as long as possible because they don’t have metal.
Gold Market Set Up For A Mammoth Short Squeeze
But if my interpretation is correct, gold is getting set up for a potentially mammoth short squeeze. My interpretation of this data is that the shorts are stuck. They were not able to deliver everything the longs wanted. So the shorts did the best they could under the circumstances. Unable to deliver, they rolled their short positions forward.
This EFP activity also ties into another point. The gold price in the physical market is increasingly being set in China, the rest of Asia and the Middle East. Consequently, the power of the gold price manipulators who use paper is diminishing. The manipulators are fighting this loss of power by trying to delay the delivery of the physical gold they are obligated to deliver. They are between a rock and a hard place.
Either Way The Gold Price Soars
They either fail to deliver, which will send the price of gold soaring as people everywhere move out of paper representations of gold into physical metal, or they cover their shorts by buying physical metal in a tight market already starved of physical metal, which would also send the price of gold soaring.