Silver fell yet again, touching new lows in barely over a month. The latest decline puts the YTD fall to 28 percent so far and is also notable as the price is now the lowest since September 2010.  Slower industrial growth has been bogging down profits in all commodities and metals have clearly been hit the hardest. Silver had entered the bear market last month, as per data from CFTC till May 14, hedge fund positioning in silver futures is not in the net short zone yet but is in the buy zone with severe downward pressure on price.

Hedge Fund Position Silver Futures

Silver And Gold Miner Opened At 1031 Pence

Speaking of shorts, hedge funds have bet against some precious metal miners including those who dig for silver. Fresnillo Plc (LON:FRES), a silver and gold miner opened at 1031 pence after closing at 1077 on Friday. After recovering a little, the shares are down 3.55 percent today. Fresnillo is a short bet of Lansdowne Partners, one of UK’s most well known hedge funds. Lansdowne holds 0.7 percent of Fresnillo’s shares short, which was roughly equal to $112 million at the time when disclosed on March 26. Since then the miner is down almost 25 percent,according to a rough estimate Lansdowne could have netted a $25 million paper profit here.

Lonmin Plc (PINK:LNMIY) (LON:LMI) is another precious metals miner, and is the short bet of Odey Asset Management, a hedge fund that has a habit of giving out brilliant returns and of Cliff Asness’ AQR Capital, and several others. The shares were down in excess of 3 percent today and have declined 6.6 percent YTD.

Hochschild Mining Plc (LON:HOC), another company with focus in mining and sale of gold and silver has declined 48 percent YTD and it seems has been missed by the big shortsellers. Only BlackRock has a 0.5 percent short in the Hochschild Mining Plc (LON:HOC), disclosed on March 28, the shares are down 12 percent since then. Nyrstar NV (EBR:NYR), a Belgian miner, is also a short bet of a few hedge funds, shares are down 15 percent YTD.