Shanghai Gold vs. Spot and Physical Price

Updated 4/13/21 @ 7:20 AM EST

Graph start date is 4/1/20.

NOTE: The Shanghai price has been shifted back one day in order to account for the fact that it is 13 hours ahead of EST.

From what I can tell, the Shanghai price has not varied very much from the Spot price since I started keeping records on April 1, 2020. This suggests to me that the system has not totally collapsed yet.

However, if you focus just on the premium/discount percentage, the clear trend is toward a narrowing discount. The 30-day moving average (red) shows that the Shanghai discount to Spot has been getting smaller since I started keeping records. The discount hit a low on 8/11/20 of -6.62%. However, since 1/11/21 the Shanghai price has been at almost a continuous premium to Spot.

Updated 4/13/21 @ 7:20 AM EST

Shanghai Discount/Premium to Spot on 4/13/21 @ 7:20 AM EST: 0.29%

Shanghai Discount to Physical on 4/13/21 @ 7:20 AM EST: – 10.04%


Another potential warning sign of something going on in the gold market might be found in the spread between the AM and PM prices in the Shanghai fix. A wider spread clearly indicates a volatile market for gold. Below is a chart which traces this spread starting 4/1/20. So far, the 30 period moving average (in red) shows that the spread has been pretty steady, hovering near the 0% line. My guess is that if the spread trends positive for an extended period, this could mean that the price of gold is strengthening – but I am not convinced yet that this spread has any value.

Updated 4/13/21 @ 7:20 AM EST

  • The Shanghai price is taken from Kitco and is an average of the AM and PM price fix.
  • The Spot price is taken from Goldprice.org and is an average of all of the spot prices that I captured over the course of the day.
  • The Physical price is taken from Ebay.com and is also an average of all of the prices I recorded during the course of the day.

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