SALES OF NEWLY MINTED US bullion coins are badly lagging the record levels of 2011, data from the U.S. Mint show, with the drop in Gold Coins outpacing the slowdown in silver demand.
So far this April, sales of Gold Coins total 17,000 ounces – down some 79% from the same month last year according to Bloomberg News. Sales of Silver Bullion coins also trail April 2011 by a wide margin. But totaling 1.7 million ounces so far they're on track to show a 40% year-on-year fall.
April 2011 saw the Silver Price jump to near all-time records, hitting $48.70 per ounce at the London Fix on the 28th, and trading just shy of $50 per ounce in wholesale spot dealing.
Today the Silver Price is lower by more than one-third. Gold is trading currently 15% below its all-time peak of Sept. 2011.
While Australia's Perth Mint had reported the opposite trend in March, with sales of new Gold Coins and bars falling 10% year-on-year compared to a 39% fall in Silver Investment sales, the U.S. Mint had already seen the slowdown in gold demand outpacing the drop in silver.
After a record 2011, the first business day of 2012 saw very heavy demand from dealers wanting to buy new Silver Bullion coins from the Mint, with one-day sales of 3.2 million ounces equal to the two previous months combined.
Refineries in Switzerland have also anticipated strong Gold Investment in early 2012, says a report in the Financial Times. After running 3 shifts a day to produce kilo and smaller Gold Bars throughout 2011, "by February, the refiners had backed down their operations to one shift a day," says FT columnist John Dizard.
U.S.Mint data show record Gold Coin demand in 2009 at 1.4 million ounces, easing back over the next two years but still totaling 3 times the pre-financial crisis average in 2011 at 1 million ounces.
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