PRODUCERS of smaller gold bars in Switzerland are booked solid in a bid to meet the surge in global investment demand sparked by mid-April's near-record gold price crash.
Frederic Panizzutti, head of marketing and sales at Swiss-based MKS, says that demand from private investors has been so strong, dealers in Dubai are now having to pay up to $9 per ounce over international spot prices to secure supplies of 1 kilo gold bars.
"[But] it's not just a Middle East story," he tells Bloomberg. "It's all across the globe.
"The fact that premiums are so high, it means that no one is making enough. We are producing 24 hours a day."
Across the Swiss gold refining industry – center of production for "retail investor" gold bars – capacity is now booked solid until the end of May, a senior bullion-industry figure told Bullion Vault on Friday.
Although China's domestic gold trading markets are now closed for the Labor Day and Golden Week holidays, Hong Kong and Singapore dealers are now charging their customers $3 per ounce above international spot prices, says Standard Merchant Bank, rather than the $2 premium seen just after the price crash of April 12-16.
Dubai's gold souk now has only coins available for sale, says a local bank dealer – also quoted by Bloomberg – as the kilobars "are all gone from the windows."