July was bad for American Eagle silver bullion coin sales. August was worse.
The United States Mint reported sales of 1,280,000 American Eagle
1-ounce silver bullion coins last month, down from the 1,370,000 sold in July.
The monthly total is the lowest since December 2013, when 1,200,000
coins were sold.
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Sales have been sliding since before the Mint lifted its weekly allocations during July. The
allocations, buying limits the Mint used to portion out the available
inventory to its authorized purchasers, were put in place in 2015 as
demand for the silver bullion coin skyrocketed. These approved dealers
are the only customers who buy bullion directly from the Mint.
Precious Metals Basics: How does the bullion market work?
Huge demand had led to record-setting annual sales totals in 2014
and 2015 for the American Eagle silver bullion coins.
American Eagle silver bullion coin sales in the early months of 2016
continued the strong trend. But the price of silver has surged in recent months —
it’s currently at $19.81 per ounce, according to Kitco, after
surpassing $20 per ounce earlier this summer.
Authorized purchasers are now sitting on stockpiles of the silver coins, which
has led to slower Mint sales to these buyers.
So while 2016 got off to a hot start, it looks like a silver
American Eagle sales record three-peat is unlikely.
August ended with 2016’s eight-month total (28,900,500 one-ounce
coins) trailing that of 2015 (32,250,000 one-ounce coins).
Take a look at our infographic for more details.