US Mint Reports Highest Monthly Silver Bullion Sales Since 1986
As I have in the past, I have compiled the total bullion sales from the US Mint's bullion coin programs. The numbers for March 2009 bullion sales carry a bit of a surprise. The US Mint recorded the highest monthly silver bullion sales since December 1986, which was the second month the silver bullion coins were offered.
During March 2009, the US Mint only sold one ounce American Gold Eagles and one ounce American Silver Eagles. They continue to delay production of the 24 karat Gold Buffalo coins, all Platinum Eagle bullion coins, and fractional versions of the Gold Eagle. The sales totals for the two available bullion coins are presented below.
|March 2009 US Mint Bullion Sales|
|1 oz.||1/2 oz.||1/4 oz.||1/10 oz.||Total oz.|
Total ounces of gold sold during March 2009 was 136,500 ounces. This is an increase from the prior month when 113,500 ounces were sold. It's a big jump from the year ago period of March 2008 when 50,000 ounces were sold.
Total ounce of silver sold in March 2009 was a whopping 3,132,000. This is up from the prior month when 2,125,000 ounces were sold and the year ago period when 1,855,000 ounces were sold. This represents the second highest total since the bullion coins were first offered in 1986. The highest total was attained for the month of December 1986 at 3,696,000.
There are two ways to interpret last month's surge Silver Eagle bullion coin sales. As readers of this blog will know, the US Mint has cut, delayed, or suspended nearly every gold and silver product except for the one ounce Gold Eagle and Silver Eagle coins, which continue to be subject to rationing. That being the case, the level of sales is not really an indicator of demand, but an indicator of how many precious metals blanks the US Mint was able to obtain and mint into coins.
On one hand, the increased amount of sales could suggest that the scarcity for precious metals blanks is finally abating. The US Mint was able to obtain more blanks to produce bullion coins than any other month since the rationing program began in February 2008.
On the other hand, the demand for precious metals has continued in full force even during the month when the stock market supposedly "bottomed" and the world economy supposedly "turned the corner." Beyond the reported sales, there also remains a wall of unmet demand ready, willing, and able to buy more silver when and if the rationing programs are ever removed.