U.S. Mint Posts 181% Jump In Gold Coin Sales, Silver Sales Hit 29-Year Record High In Q3By Sarah Benali
Thursday October 01, 2015 13:44
(Kitco News) - Gold and silver prices remain range-bound as markets await a potential U.S. interest rate hike at some point this year, however, bullion coin sales have never been better according to the latest data released by the U.S. Mint.
The data showed that gold ounces sold jumped 181% quarter over quarter, while silver surged by almost 47%, hitting multi-year record sales last quarter.
The American Eagle gold coin saw total sales of 397,000 ounces last quarter, compared to 127,000 ounces sold in Q2. In addition, the mint sold 74,000 ounces of its American Buffalo gold coin in Q3, 82% higher than sales seen from April to June.
During the last three months, December Comex gold futures dropped almost 5%, settling at $1,115.50 an ounce on Sept 30. However, the metal managed to hit a six-week high of $1,169 an ounce during the quarter.
Despite better results for gold, silver really stole the limelight with the mint posting coins sales that hit record highs last seen in the late 1980s.
“It’s really been a bargain buying phenomena coupled with smaller retail investors believing there is a shortage of silver,” Erica Rannestad, senior analyst for Thomson Reuters GFMS, told Kitco News over the phone Thursday.
In mid-July, the mint resumed sales of its American Eagle silver coin after having been forced to halt sales two weeks prior.
Kitco’s Global Trading Director Peter Hug said the silver Eagle has really been the ‘stand-out’ coin due to its tight supply and its premiums doubling last quarter.
“Some wholesalers have sold out expected allocations as far as December, which continues to aggravate supply issues,” he said. “The market demand has slowed down somewhat, which may give the market a chance to re-stock,” he added.
According to its latest data, the mint sold 14,268,500 ounces of its American Eagle silver coin in Q3, almost double the 9,715,000 ounces sold in the second quarter of the year. During that period, December Comex silver futures fell a little over 7%, hitting a six-year low of $13.91 an ounce.
“There are a lot of mints that have experienced bottleneck in production of silver coins this year and I think it was more of a surprise, they didn’t have in their schedule for so much demand given the price environment and investment weakness that we’ve seen in the past couple of years,” Rannestand explained.
“Investors are seeing prices at multi-year lows and seeing this as a time to buy because overall, a lot of the market still believes that precious metals can start to trend higher again,” she added.