Money

U.S. Mint Sales “Explode” So Far in the Third Quarter

Michael R. Fuljenz (2)In July and August alone, the U.S. Mint sold more ounces of American Gold Eagle coins than they sold in the first six months of 2015.  That pace is continuing so far in September.  In early September, the Mint sold 25,500 ounces in Gold Eagles – or more than they sold in the entire months of May or February!    Through August 31, the Mint sold 541,500 ounces, more than all of 2014, which totaled 524,500 ounces.

Month in 2015 Gold Eagle sales*
January              81,000
February            18,500
March                46,500
April                  29,500
May                   21,500
June                   76,000
July                  170,000
August             101,500
Sept. 1-4            25,500

*In Troy ounces; Source: U.S. Mint

So much for the “summer doldrums” in coin sales.  Not this year. July marked a 27-month high in sales (the highest since April of 2013). August sales were also strong, even though some headlines labeled August a “sharp decline” from July!  A more accurate headline might have been that August’s Gold Eagle sales more than quadrupled the sales of August, 2014, when only 25,000 American Gold Eagles were sold.  (American Buffalo gold coin sales totaled 20,000 in August, 150% better than August of 2014.)

In addition, American Silver Eagles were also strong in the summer months.  July and August were the second and third best months of the year for the sale of American Silver Eagles. The only two historical Augusts that beat 2015’s August sales were leading up to the Y2K scare in August 1998 and 1999, when Americans scrambled to buy and hoard “survival” coins in case the world came to a halt on Jan. 1, 2000.

Through August, 2015 Silver Eagle sales reached 32,250,000 ounces, well ahead of last year’s 28,191,000 for the same eight months, on the way to a record 44 million ounces, a record likely to be broken in 2015.

The Latest Demand Trends in India and China

Taken together, China and India provide about half of the annual demand for gold.  China is also the #1 producer of gold in the world, but their production can’t keep up with their demand.  There is currently a collapse of real estate and stock market values in China, which is driving more investors toward gold.   EconoTimes reported last week that there are three reasons for rising demand in China: Jewelry sales, investment demand and more buying by the central bank (People’s Bank of China, or PBOC).  They project that China’s gold imports will rise from 570 metric tons this year to 912 tons a year by 2020.

As for India, they’re entering the festival season of the 3-D’s, namely Dusshera (October 22), Dhanteras (November 9) and Diwali (November 11), the season of greatest gold demand in India.  In advance of these holidays, jewelry fabricators must stockpile their gold in September, helping to make September the best historical month for physical gold demand going back 40 years or more.  Shashank Goyal, founder of SLG Jewelers said recently that “the festive season is approaching, a season where people give gold items as gifts to each other. So the demand of gold is expected to grow by 65%-70% till the end of November,”

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PaulE

Mike,

Nice, concise and easy to understand explanations for the average person as to what is driving China’s and India’s precious metals markets at the current time.