It looks like the entire world is spitting out gold and silver as an investment or hedge, as the prices of both precious metals were tumbling in the past few weeks. Well, at least the demand for gold and silver ‘paper’ isn’t anymore what it used to be, but the demand for physical silver is really booming.
Reports have reached us from Germany that the demand for silver is really surging, and this is an interesting sentiment meter because Germany usually acts as one of the main distribution centers for the European Union. Several large bullion dealers have seen the demand for silver increase, and in just the next few days after last week’s crash, almost all dealers sold as many silver coins in just three days as they usually do in an entire month.
Now you can try to dismiss this easily by saying that the Germans and the rest of the European Union are simply preparing for an upcoming implosion of the Eurozone, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The US Mint recently had to announce that there were no more silver Eagles in inventory, and that it would have to suspend deliveries for new orders. This announcement hasn’t been made public (why not, US Mint? Are you trying to keep the people dumb?) but was only sent to larger bullion dealers in the USA.
Source: US Mint
So did the US Mint miscalculate its production rate or was there effectively a surge in demand? Well, the previous image proves it’s the latter. The sales number of Silver Eagles in October almost TRIPLED from the August level and in just the first few days of November (there were only 3 trading days before the US Mint ran out of coins), another 1.26 million ounces were sold, and this brings the total year to date at 39.3M (and it’s quite certain last year’s sale number of 42.675M will be surpassed). We see the same demand increase in gold (see the next image), as the Mint sold more gold in October alone than in July and August combined. And here again, in just the first few days in November, the Mint already sold more gold than in several previous months and it looks like November will end on the second place in terms of demand per month.
Source: US Mint
A cheap argument would be that it’s the Europeans who are accelerating their purchases of Silver Eagles. That’s incorrect, as people usually buy silver Maple Leafs and Australian coins and not as much Silver Eagles which have a higher premium over the pure silver value. So this demand for the Silver Eagles (and renewed demand for the Gold Eagle coins) is coming from the USA itself and NOT from foreign demand.
All signs are indicating that both in Europe as in the USA (not so much in Australia, which – despite the big mining sector- isn’t in a bad shape from an economic point of view) the demand for precious metals coins is surging. It’s not surprising the US Mint has ran out of inventory, but instead of announcing it in a press release, it sent a secret note to the bullion dealers. As the US Mint is a government institution, it should really be no surprise the government doesn’t want you to know there a rush to get your hands on gold and silver.
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