Gold miners and the related exchange funds have been star performers this year. The resurgence after a dismal 2013 include five gold and silver mining ETFs ranking among this year’s top-11 non-leveraged ETFs.
In a sign of just how strong gold miners have been this year, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX), the largest gold miners ETF, up 19% and does not rank among the top-11 ETFs. On Monday, with global stocks plunging on the back of concerning headlines out of Ukraine, physically-backed gold ETFs along with GDX and the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDXJ) were among the few green spots in what was a sea of red for most ETFs. [Resurgent Commodities ETFs]
Although gold prices are on the mend, coming off a strong performance in February that brought the first month of inflows to physically-backed gold funds in over a year, some of GDX’s holdings are mulling production cuts. That is not necessarily a bad thing. [More Good News for Mining ETFs]
Gold miners previously based reserve estimates on prices higher than where bullion traded for most of last year. That along with a spendthrift approach to mergers and acquisitions during the go-go days of gold’s rise, forced billions in writedowns last year. [Writedowns Could Strain Mining ETFs]
Falling gold prices forced $30 billion in writedowns in 2013, reports Liezel Hill for Bloomberg. Now, GDX constituents such as Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) and Goldcorp (NYSE: GG) are taking more disciplined approaches. Barrick Chief Executive Officer Jamie Sokalsky told Bloomberg “gold production in the industry could start to decline more than people think.”
A leaner, meaner mining industry could easily mean less gold coming to market in the years ahead, which could contribute to favorable supply and demand dynamics for the yellow.