Silver market in disarray after benchmark price fixed far below spot rate

28-Jan (FastMarkets) — The silver market was thrown into disarray on Thursday after the LBMA Silver Price was set 84 cents below the spot and futures price this morning.

The LBMA Silver Price – the crucial daily benchmark used by producers and traders around the world to settle silver products and derivatives contracts – was set at $13.58 per ounce.

At the time of the auction, which begins at 12 noon London time, the spot price was at $14.42 per ounce while the futures price on the CME was at $14.415, leaving a number of market participants extremely confused as to what has happened.

“Unfortunately, it is not [a mistake],” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy for Saxo Bank, told FastMarkets. “This could be the end of the fix. It took 14 minutes to find a fix – they obviously found a fix way off of the market.”

The difference between the two was nearly six percent but the benchmark cannot be changed, a person familiar with proceedings told FastMarkets.

Another source also suggested that the continued existence of the fix has been put in jeopardy by the huge discrepancy in today’s price, adding that many producers – who still use the price as their daily reference – may have lost significant amounts of money if any contracts have been settled according to the fix.

“A huge number of contracts are still settled on that price,” another said. “This will no doubt cause significant problems.”

[source]

PG View: Spot silver plunged briefly to $14.00 before recovering. But I don’t see how the parties could even possibly agree to a fix so far below the reality reflected in the spot and futures markets . . . There is likely far more to this story.

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