Demand for Precious Metals Storage Soars

Source: Wealth Briefing, Thomas Whyel  (7/7/11)

"A serious shortage of storage facilities worldwide is growing as investors continue to pile into gold, silver, platinum and palladium."

Wealth Briefing, Thomas Whyel

With investment in precious metals reaching all-time highs, one U.S. firm has warned of a serious shortage of storage facilities worldwide as investors continue to pile into gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

While Delaware-based Diamond State Depository of course has its own agenda, having just opened a new high-security facility in Delaware, the firm certainly cites some convincing statistics to support the notion that the world is suffering from a serious lack of storage facilities.

Few can have missed the rise of gold this year, with prices hovering around the $1,550 an ounce mark. In fact, according to metals consultants GFMS, private investors now own about 30,000 tons of gold—more than the world's national central banks hold.

But the global hunger for precious metals is not limited to so-called "gold bugs;" silver has reached all time highs of $50 per ounce and seldom a week goes by without the launch of a new exchange-traded fund investing in precious metals. Rightly or wrongly, investors are flocking to precious metals as a store of value amid an uncertain economic climate and inflationary fears.

Another major reason for the rush to precious metals is dwindling faith in the U.S. dollar, notes Mike Clark, president and general manager at Diamond State Depository. "Add in investor concerns about the U.S. debt and deficit problems, the spectre of coming inflation, growing unrest in the Middle East, and the ongoing European sovereign debt crisis, and it's easy to understand their desire to diversify their investments to include tangible assets, like gold and silver."

While the exact extent of the problem remains unclear, some countries—including Switzerland—are already saying they are running out of secure storage capacity, Diamond State notes.
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