US precious metal coin sales pick up
After having retreated sharply in May, the demand for American Eagle gold and silver coins was firmly higher in June.
The US Mint sold 46,500 ounces of American Eagle gold coins in March. In April, it sold only 29,500 ounces and an even lesser 21,500 ounces in May. In June, however, demand picked up. As of June 25, the US Mint had already sold 61,500 ounces of American Eagle gold coins.
The US Mint’s American Eagle silver coin sales were equally lackluster in May, posting their lowest monthly total since July 2014. June, on the other hand, has been good for silver coin sales as well. As of June 25, 3.28 million ounces of American Eagle silver coins had been sold, up from 2.02 million ounces sold in the whole of May.
Physical-gold buying supports prices
Strong physical-bullion buying boosts the price of precious metals. Coin-buyers are usually the most optimistic. After gold prices fell by 28% in 2013, physical-gold buying came to the rescue. US Mint sales increased by 14% in 2013.
The above graphs show spikes in January 2015, indicating how much physical-gold buying went on in the wake of economic and political uncertainty in the Eurozone and the removal of the currency cap by the Swiss National Bank.
In contrast, weak physical-bullion buying is negative for bullion prices (GLD) (SLV) as well as for equities associated with precious metals, including Primero Mining (PPP), Coeur Mining (CDE), Pan American Silver (PAAS), and Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM).
Agnico Eagle Mines forms 4.8% of the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX).
In the next part of this series, we’ll look at gold buying and selling trends among central banks.