In a recent report, Rhona O’Connell, Head of Market Analysis, EMEA & Asia, StoneX Financial Ltd, builds on the discussion at the LBMA trade data webinar in late February with an analysis of the data in the context of price action and market forces. The report, published on, also looks at forward volumes, options and loan/lease/deposit activity.

Key observations:

  • Massive spike in silver over the turn of January/February is the stand-out activity for the quarter. Miners almost certainly hedged into the silver spike.
  • Spot and forward gold tonnage over the first quarter of this year was just 8% that of silver in tonnage terms, but more than five times the amount in dollar terms.
  • Platinum spot and forwards averaged twice the volume of palladium despite the palladium supply/demand balance being ~35% larger than platinum– underlying frequent anecdotal evidence of palladium’s relatively low liquidity.
  • High volumes once again tend to (but don’t always) presage a change in trend, or at least a correction.
  • Volume numbers underscore markets’ internal fundamental characteristics.

Rhona highlights that in all four metals it proved possible, when looking at the figures for 2020, to identify at least nine occasions for each metal when a spike in volume was a precursor to either a change in direction or at least a correction. This has always been felt to be likely, but it is helpful to see that the data back up the theory – and of course, it makes sense because as sentiment changes, some positions will be closed, and others will be opened.

This analysis of the first quarter of 2021 can corroborate that 2020 hypothesis, but Rhona has gone one stage further this time and also looked at forward volumes along with options and loan/lease/deposit volumes. Looking at the other elements also gives a couple of nice illustrations of how the metals’ fundamentals tie in with trading activity.

Read the full report on