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Considering the rush of gold orders in mid to late April, it is understandable that there would be some temporary delays in delivery. However, we're now into mid May and sources indicate those same orders are still unfulfilled. So it begs the question: Where's the gold?

The Shanghai Gold Exchange has an enormous appetite for physical gold, so much so that it's absorbing all world production month after month -- even before the April fire sale. A month's production averages about 230 tonnes. Gold Miner Pulse, which tracks the numbers from the Shanghai Gold Exchange, reports that during the week of April 22 only one tonne has been delivered to the exchange. Since May 1, it has received only 0.3 tonnes.

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The Economic Times of India reports a similar story. Furthermore, many Indian jewelers said compared to last year they expected gold sales will be up 30 % to 50% during the Akshaya Tritiay holiday on May 13 due to the lower price of gold.

Haresh Soni, chairman of the All India Gem and Jewellery Trade Federation, said banks and trading houses importing gold are getting only 10 percent of their orders as the demand has surged sharply after a sudden slide in gold prices last month. 'If they place order for one tonne, for instance, then they are getting only around 100 kg,' Soni said. "

Oh, wait. I get it now. You deal with real market demand by declaring a defacto force majeure. Meanwhile, the paper market continues on unimpeded. Could the Comex and LBMA be next for force majeure?

Paul Craig Roberts' theory is that the raid of the Comex was done in conjunction with the buying of GLD shares in the washout. The banksters get the physical gold by delivering to the GLD 100,000 share lots, which was then supposedly shipped off to Asia, according to Roberts. However, I think the real reason for the raid was to send leased gold back to the Federal Reserve, that in turn must continue to return gold to Germany. I predict additional official sources, such as central banks, also want their gold back -- and much quicker than Germany's seven-year delivery window. What the masters of the universe didn't predict was the huge demand coming out of China and India. Now, the response is to choke those buyers from real product.

Good news for silver bulls. Last month, Japan will increased silver use for solar by 1.5 million ounces to 5 million ounces ["Dowa Boosts Silver for Japan Post-Quake Solar Demand"]. That's if it can get delivery.

My preferred investment vehicles are PSLV, PHYS, and mining stocks, several of which have been discussed previously (see "Torex on a Roll" and "Mining Costs are Falling, the Case of Allied Nevada").

Source: Orders For Gold Go Unfilled In Asia