* Dealers quote premiums of upto $7/oz in Singapore
* Supplies tight, kilo bars scarce in Singapore
* Hong Kong premiums fall as demand cools off peaks
(Adds details and quotes)
By A. Ananthalakshmi
SINGAPORE, May 29 Premiums for physical gold in
Singapore touched new highs this week as supplies proved hard to
acquire, even as premiums in other Asian countries eased after
gold prices bounced off two-year lows seen in April.
Dealers in Singapore, a center for bullion trading in
Southeast Asia, were quoting up to $7 an ounce over spot London
prices for gold kilogram bars, versus $5 last week.
Gold kilo bars continue to be scarce and some dealers,
unable to fill demand, have had to stop taking orders.
"Singapore is still facing a shortage. As long as there are
no ready stocks, premiums will be high," said Brian Lan,
managing director of bullion dealer GoldSilver Central Pte Ltd
in Singapore. "There is a huge backlog."
"Most mints and refineries have backlogs for kilo bars
because of buying by banks and central banks."
Lan said premiums were high more because of supply issues
than a jump in demand, which has cooled from peak levels.
Gold's biggest drop in 30 years in mid-April to a two-year
low of $1,321.35 prompted frantic buying in Asia, even as
investors dumped the metal in favour of stocks.
Another Singapore dealer, BullionStar, was charging a
premium of 2 percent to spot prices on kilo bars.
"Most of our June allocations, which we have yet to come by,
have been fully purchased. The orders we get now, we have to
allocate only for July," said Zane Lim, regional manager of
operations at BullionStar.
PREMIUMS EASE ELSEWHERE
Spot gold rose about $3 on Wednesday to $1,383.5, up
about 5 percent since the mid-April drop. With rising prices,
demand and premiums have eased.
Premiums in Hong Kong ranged between $4 and $5 an ounce over
spot London prices, dealers said, off a record high of $6 last
"The markets see these prices as the low for the next couple
of weeks, so there is not much interest," said a trader in Hong
Kong. "If prices were closer to $1,300, there would be more
Hong Kong is the key supplier of gold to China, the No. 2
gold buyer after India.
India has also seen premiums ease to below $5 from $15 an
ounce earlier this month, as higher gold prices and the winding
down of the peak wedding season has curtailed demand.
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)