Silver Eagle Sales Slower as US Mint Rations Supplies

March 11, 2011

Sales of the United States Mint's American Silver Eagle bullion coins were slower in the latest week. However, the slow down seems to be the result of the allocation program currently in place, as opposed to a reduction in demand. Sales for Gold Eagle bullion coins dropped to the lowest weekly total for the year to date.

For the weekly period ending March 9, the US Mint recorded sales of 668,500 of the one ounce Silver Eagles. This compares to 1,509,000 coins sold in the previous week.

Since the start of sales for the 2011-dated coins, the US Mint has carried out sales under their standard allocation program. Rather than accepting unrestricted orders, available supplies of silver bullion coins are rationed amongst the authorized purchasers. As such, sales figures reflect the number of coins that the US Mint is able to produce and make available, as opposed to the level of demand from the market.

There has been anecdotal evidence from bullion dealers indicating demand in excess of the available supplies. This reduced availability has caused premium levels for Silver Eagles to expand at the retail level.

Other world mints have indicated that they have been encountering problems obtaining the silver needed to produce coins and other bullion products. The US Mint has not provided any specific explanations.

US Mint Bullion Coin Program Sales 3/9/2011 (ounces)

Prior Week Month to Date Year to Date
American Silver Eagle 668,500 668,500 10,330,500
American Gold Eagle 12,500 18,500 232,000
America the Beautiful Silver 0 0 0
American Platinum Eagle 0 0 0
American Gold Buffalo 0 0 0

Sales of the bullion Gold Eagles were only 12,500 in the latest week compared to a previous weekly total of 37,000 coins. The demand for physical gold has not been as intense as the demand for silver. Since the start of sales for the 2011-dated coins on January 3, 2011, the US Mint has not used the allocation program.

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