The April and February Gold futures contracts are very popular on the COMEX. As of last Friday, open interest (OI) in the Apr-2014 contract is 126,502 contracts. There are 6 more weekdays until first notice. In January with 6 more days until first notice, open interest in the Feb-2014 contract was 128,788. Also, in November 2013, with 6 days to go for first notice day the open interest for Dec-2013 gold contracts was 149,434. Comparisons to December are difficult, however because December is typically by far the largest settlement month of the year.
The chart below shows that, until today, open interest had been consistently higher during March for the Apr-2014 contract than it was during January for the Feb-2014 contract. The average difference over the last 11 week days is 6%.
The bullion banks seem to have the upcoming settlement month of April well under control. Open interest is comparable to that for Feb-2014. Registered gold inventory is much higher now now than before the February settlement month; 632,592 ounces last Thursday versus 370,137 6 days before first notice day for Feb-2014. And, the COMEX still has about 10 times as much eligible gold in inventory as registered gold. Total registered and eligible gold in COMEX inventory is down 7% from the end of January.
Until today . . . . Everything is fine and normal until the curtain is pulled back. He was just an ordinary guy, eatin' Barbeque, nothing exciting about him . . . until today!!!