Time to update the bullion sales graphs from the United States and Perth mints. It will be a while before we get the numbers for the Royal Canadian mint and even then it will only be until the end of 2016. All in all, another less than stellar month in a market seemingly disconnected from the the wider financial world. Our graphs cover the last five years, so comments are in light of that. The graphs can be viewed by clicking BULLION SALES on the main menu.
A record poor February should have least given warning that March was unlikely to shine, and shine it most certainly didn’t. Ounces sold were 25% lower than the previous half-decade lowest in this month, failing even to follow silver with a rise over February. Huge January sales are the only thing stopping this being the worst first quarter for many years. If the trend continues we’ll see sub-20,000 ounce sales in April and April generally drops off from March if recent precedent is any indicator.
After a less than great February, sales in March are statistically even worse. While they show the traditional March blip upwards, numbers remain barely above years prior to 2016. Considering the mint now has the big volume Kangaroo in its arsenal, it’s a disappointing result. The only other year with the Kangaroo was 2016, and 2017 is far below that. In February, sales were around half last years (1.05m v 0.5m), but in March they’re well short of that (1.75m v 0.7m). New coins like the limited mintage Silver Swan aren’t going to change that.
Gold Eagle sales at the US Mint continue to fall, posting the worst March numbers for five years at least, down 17,000 ounces on last March when sales of 38,000 were posted. The fall over February 2017 is a less dramatic 6,500 ounces, although we’re sure that will be cold comfort. A gentle drop then, almost a sort of stabilisation, making next months figures ones to look forward to. Up or down?
Silver Eagle sales remain appalling. While they’ve also risen slightly since February, much like the Perth Mint, the chasm is as large as ever, less than half the next worst March in the last five years. We’ve seen mentioned elsewhere that total Q1 sales of ASE’s are the lowest for eight years. Our graphs showcase the problem clearly. However you visualise it, March sales of 1.6m compared to 3.4m last year are never going to look good. Compared to the near 5.4m coins sold in March 2014…. We long ago gave up thinking we had an idea of where numbers were going and there’s nothing happening to make us review that.