April. That’s how long it took to sell three million more Silver Eagle bullion coins in 2016 than the United States Mint has managed to sell until the end of September 2017. Let that sink in for a moment. The first nine months of this year have seen the mint sell 15.9m ounces. In 2013 that number was 36m, followed by 32.2m, 36m, and 30.6m ounces in subsequent years. Sales in September were a paltry 320,000 ounces. The biggest selling bullion coin in the world is hurting.
The Gold Eagle has jumped in sales over an appalling August, but it remains the worst September of the last five years. Combined sales from January to September currently sit at a third of last years number (232,000 vs 692,000) and since March sales have trawled along the bottom without any signs of recovery. It isn’t a banner year for the yellow metal either.
Not quite so bad at the Perth Mint, with year-to-date silver sales down a quarter on 2016. Gold is down a sixth. The September bounce we speculated could happen last month has failed to appear for silver, despite the appearance of the new lunars.Again, 2017 isn’t turning out to be a year to remember. Is the relative stagnantion of the spot price causing the pain? Big precious metal investors seem to like movement in the price to generate opportunity, but the seeming disconnect between what has happened to the worlds economy and how that affects the spot price has likely made caution the byword.
Anyway, don’t forget to click the blue button link to see the bullion sales graphs as they depict what’s happening with better clarity than a table of numbers.