The Perth Mint sold 468,977 ounces of silver in April 2017 down 35% from 716,283 ounces sold in March 2017. Silver sales in April 2017 fell 60% from April 2016 sales of 1,161,766 ounces.
From September 2015 through April 2016 the Perth Mint sold over a million ounces of silver for eight months in a row. The Perth Mint also sold over one million ounces of silver in June, September and October 2016. January 2017 silver sales over one million marked the first time since September and October 2016 that the Perth Mint sold over one million ounces in a month.
Silver sales at the Perth Mint fell dramatically in July and August (see chart below). The Perth Mint attributed the lower sales in July and August to the “trend for lower volumes reported by precious metal businesses worldwide.” Sales of American Silver Eagle coins also fell sharply in July and August.
In February the Perth Mint added this note regarding lower sales – “Growing confidence in the prospect of improving economic conditions has seen increased demand for alternative assets at the expense of precious metals.”
Sales continued to come in below 2016 levels in March and April.
Sales of silver were not impacted positively by sales of silver rooster coins the last two months of 2016 as the Perth Mint announced that the maximum worldwide mintage of 300,000 had sold out during November. January and February 2017 sales were most likely driven by 2017 Australian Silver Kangaroo coins.
In September 2015, the Perth Mint reacted to the silver shortages at the U.S. and Canadian Mints by introducing a new silver bullion coin that would be not be of limited mintage, but rather would be minted in such quantities to meet demand – the Silver Australian Kangaroo one ounce coin.
The new coin was an immediate hit. In ten months (September 2015- June 2016) the Perth Mint sold 15,146,753 ounces of silver, up 173.4% from the period of September 2014 – June 2015 when 5,553,261 ounces of silver were sold.
The Australian Silver Kangaroo
The Perth Mint noted after lower sales in July: “Slower summer sales in North America where distributors reported they were well stocked with product impacted Australian gold and silver minted products during July.” In August the Perth Mint noted “A decline in sales of Australian precious metal minted products for physical delivery in August reflected the trend for lower volumes reported by precious metal businesses worldwide.”
July 2016 silver sales did not reflect a boost from the the Silver Australian Kangaroo as silver sales were lower 7% than last July. August 2016 silver sales reflected a significant decline of 47% from August 2015 sales. While September silver sales at the Perth Mint increased, the mint noted that boost in sales was due in part to the release of the Australian Silver Rooster coins. October and November sales probably reflected continued strong sales of the silver rooster and kangaroo coins. Since the Australian Silver Rooster coin sold out in November, silver sales at the Perth Mint in reflect largely sales of the Australian Silver Kangaroo coins as well as sales of silver Koala and Kookaburra silver coins.
Lower silver sales at the Perth Mint year over year and recent months and surging gold sales might reflect a trend away from silver and towards gold.
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