SURPRISING UPDATE: Canadian Silver Maple Sales Stronger Than Last Year

In a surprising update, Canadian Silver Maple Leaf sales for the first half of 2014 surpassed sales during the same period last year.  According to the Royal Canadian Mint’s Q2 2014 Report, just released, sales of Silver Maples hit a new record of 15.4 million ounces in the first half of the year.

If we look at the chart below, we can see that the Royal Canadian Mint sold an additional 1.4 million Silver Maples in the 1H 2014, at 15.4 million compared to 14 million during 1H 2013.

Canaidian Gold & Silver Maple Leaf Sales 1H 2014

Thus, 1H 2014 sales of Silver Maples are 10% higher than 1H 2013.  If we compare Silver Maple sale to Gold Maple sales, its a totally different picture indeed.  Gold Maple sales are down considerably in the first half of 2014.   The Royal Canadian Mint sold 681,000 oz of Gold Maples in the 1H 2013, compared to only 337,000 oz in 1H 2014. 

This is a stunning 344,000 oz decline in Gold Maple sales or a 51% drop year-over-year.  If we combine U.S. Gold Eagle and Gold Maple Leaf sales for 1H 2014, this is the result:

Gold Eagle vs Gold Maple Leaf Sales 1H 2014

The U.S. Mint sold a pathetic 266,000 oz of Gold Eagles during the first half of 2014, compared to 629,000 oz during the same period last year.  Together, total Gold Eagle & Maple Leaf sales were 603,000 oz in the first half of 2014, down a whopping 707,000 oz (-54%) in comparison to the 1,130,000 oz in the 1H 2013.

It is plain to see that for whatever reason, investors have cut back considerably on their retail gold bullion investments in 2014.  However, this is not the case in the physical silver market.  This next chart shows how much stronger physical silver buying is in the top two Official Coin Sales Markets.

In the first half of 2014, combined U.S. Silver Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf sales hit a new record of 39.5 million ounces.  Even though this is only up slightly higher at an additional 500,000 oz compared to 39 million in 1H 2013, it is still positive growth while Gold Eagle and Gold Maple sales are down a staggering 54%.

Total Silver Eagle vs Silver Maple Leaf Sales 1H 2014

As we can see from the chart, the increase in Canadian Silver Maple sales (+1.4 million oz) offset the 900,000 oz decline in U.S. Silver Eagle sales.  The reason for the increase in Canadian Silver Maples sales this year over last is due to a relatively strong first quarter.

Sales of Silver Maples were 8.2 million Q1 2014, compared to 6.6 million Q1 2013.   Second quarter sales this year were slightly lower at 7.2 million, versus the 7.4 million oz Q2 2013.  Silver Eagle sales Q2 2014 were down 600,000 oz compared to Q2 2013.  Which means, Silver Maple sales fell less in percentage terms at 3% y.o.y. versus the 6% decline of Silver Eagle sales during the same period.

The Silver to Gold buying ratio in these to Official Coin Sales jumped up dramatically in the 1H 2014 due to the large drop-off of Gold Eagle & Maple purchases

Silver Eagle-Maple vs Gold Eagle Maple Sales

1H 2013 = 30 / 1

1H 2014 = 65 /1

The majority of investors are still wrapped up in the biggest Paper Ponzi Scheme in history.  Even though retail gold bullion buying is down in the top two Official Coin Markets, sales of Silver Eagles and Maples remains stubbornly strong.

I will be coming out with a new article shortly titled, “U.S. Retirement Asset Bubble vs Physical Gold Investment.”  It’s amazing just how big of a bubble the total U.S. Retirement Market has become.

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26 Comments on "SURPRISING UPDATE: Canadian Silver Maple Sales Stronger Than Last Year"

  1. Hi Steve,

    According to the latest of your posts, paper-wealth will sooner or later go into gold and silver because of peak oil, but average oil-price will not go up too much. But If this is the case then miners could ramp up production with huge open pit mines and extract huge piles of silver and gold because there will be available not so expensive diesel. Wouldn´t then the ramp up in silver and gold production put pressure on the metals prices?

    Best regards Markus

    • Markus,

      Trying to forecast future gold and silver production is a tough one. There are so many variables that can change. Regardless, the Peak and decline of Global Oil Production will put severe stress on the Base Metal mining industry. I see a larger loss in percentage of base metal mining than primary gold and silver. Thus, it will impact world silver production more than gold. We must remember, 70% of global silver production comes at a by-product of Base metal and gold production.

      While it’s true that diesel prices may be cheaper in relative terms to skyrocketing gold and silver prices, it may not be the PRICE but AVALIABILITY that makes increasing precious metals production problematic.

      Either way, I highly doubt overall gold and silver production will increase all that much even if prices increase 2-3 times their current value. Even if gold and silver production were able to ramp up say 20-30% in 5+ years due to much higher prices, I don’t think that extra supply will do much to hamper prices & demand as the world’s paper assets plummet in value.

      steve

      • Steve,

        Thanks for the answer!
        I suppose declining ore-grades also will make mining increasingly difficult in the future as well as social turmoil, strikes, ect?

        • Just wanted to say, this is NOT the Markus that has been here since this blog’s inception. That would be me. This Markus should change his name.

  2. Mike Christman | August 27, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Reply

    Steve,

    Another reason why sales of Maples are rising is also because it is consistantly the cheapest silver coin you can buy…at least here in Germany. If you go to a german PM price comparison site (I use gold.de) you will see that the Canadian Maple is even cheaper than the Austrian Philharmonic. Considering the logistics behind getting Maples to Germany vs. Phils, it´s even more perplexing. I´m not complaining though, as I have been taking advantage of the situation and have been buying nothing but Maples over the past year.

    • Mike,

      because of the new tax regulations in Germany witch came to effect in 2014, direct imports of Austrian Philharmonic are no longer possible. The coins must go over a third, I think non eu country to be taxed with 7% instead of 19.
      I bought often Austrian Philharmonic in the last years when I got them cheaper than maples. Now I also just buy Maples. I have just a view Eagles, they to expensive for me.

      • Mike Christman | August 27, 2014 at 8:30 pm | Reply

        Yes, up until the new tax law came into effect, I was also mainly buying Philharmonics because they were the lowest priced (as well as excellent quality coins) for sale. I also have some Eagles, but there is no real advantage in owning them vs. Maples as I am sure you know.

  3. Very interesting (and a bit frustrating for a gold bug like me). I second Mike Christman. In Austria too Canadian Silver Maples are the cheapest 1 oz coins at par with our Silver Philharmonics. Maybe I can find the sales for Philharmonics from Münze Österreich (gold and silver) for 1H/14 somewhere. It will be hard. It is indicative for the situation, that everybody has stopped caring about this kind of news. Andreas

  4. Love the data presentation. Thank you.

    Price and demand can drift around as they please but the insurance from counter party risk remains absolutely cost free and the single best reason to own the metals. Tail risk simply is not priced into financial products.

  5. This says that demand for the “poor mans gold” is increasing. The silver share of the market compared to that of gold is miniscule. Global physical supply is now extremely tight. The upside potential for silver is tremendous. However, the powers that be will attempt to “help themselves” to your stack when the time is right. You can bet on it!

    The following link to John’s and Dave’s from Denver video (Investment Research Dynamics) or what use to be ‘The Golden Truth’ is a must watch. Have your eyes opened wide!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2WrfNg1gNc

  6. I was surprised to learn of the overall decline in gold purchases. Can anyone tell me why a U.S. Mint silver eagle at .999 is more expensive than a silver maple leaf from the Canadian Mint thats .9999 ?

    • The US Mint sells their coins to dealers at a higher premium than the RCM sell their coins to dealers, hence American bullion coins carry a slight higher premium than Royal Canadian Mint products.

      Given the Silver Maple Leaf’s new counterfeit proof design, it’s not surprising that sales shot up this year compared to last year’s figures.

      If you have yet to see the 2014 Silver Maple Leaf coins, get some!

      They are beautiful and probably the best value sovereign bullion silver coin in the world… all things considered.

      • I’ve always split my purchases between Eagles and Maples on the silver side. Have alot more gold Maples than Eagles due to the premium difference and 4 nines vs 3.. U.S. PM dealers were working with some even lower than typical premiums in Q3. I took advantage of ANY QUANTITY purchases as low as $1.79 over spot for 2014 Maples. On several occasions. So would expect numbers for Q3 to be strong too. Have seen the U.S. mint dealers also discounting their any quantity silver Eagles but prices still in the $2.25 over spot best cases. Did buy some of those to but not as many.

        Not surprised to see Gold Eagles and Maples drop off. Most of the buyers now are still amazed at the rediculous GSR ratio. At ~65:1 its really a no brainer IMO. I have also been intrigued by all the generic rounds and wonder if the numbers are available for those too. Got to admit I have been down that road too but still less than 10% of my PHYZ silver but most of that has been bought in the last 15 months.

  7. Silver coins were taxed at 7% up until last year in Germany, where all other European countries taxed 19/21 % in line with vat . Silver bars were about 19/21% vat in Germany. Germany now taxes coins at 19% ( government looking for ways to save more money)
    This year because Maple leafs are imported from outside Europe then German dealers are able to only charge 19% on the difference of their purchase price to their selling price. I used to buy Austrian Philharmonics but it is now cheaper to buy Canadian Maple Leafs.

  8. It would be nice if the RCM would stop philosophically urinating on silver by stamping these coins as worth $5 Canadian. Maybe Canadians can organize a lawsuit to force the RCM to sell these four-niners at $5 each—maybe that would make the mint act less like rump kissers for the COMEX shorts.

  9. Hi, could the drop in the sales volume of gold coins be the reason that the mint could not get enough of the physical gold to make the coin, or like in the past whereby the US Mint couldn’t get enough of the mould to mint the coins? (I know, it was a very lame excuse).

    • Or maybe the big money interests are buying gold bars of 100 grams and larger, and not messing with one ounce denominations.

  10. For you Folks that want to make some cash in the short term ( to stack more Silver of course).
    I think you should put an eye on this guy. Dispite the fact that I do not trade on the markets I listen to him frequently and I think his short term forcast are not bad.

    http://youtu.be/UlDE_19B3KY

  11. I buy maples for one reason; and that’s because my home town is Seattle WA. I plan on returning to the Pacific North West when the Oil and Gas Industry Goes Belly Up! Which I expect to happen in the next 2 years. Then it will be time to head Home and if things happen to get worse I’m close to the border either way it goes.

  12. new AUG 23 long detailed post up by Laherrere says expect now Bakken peak in 2015 1.2 MM bpd:
    http://peakoilbarrel.com/bakken-oil-peak-jean-laherrere/

    MT:
    Montana oil production is declining as the number of rigs and it is a good model for ND.
    Montana oil production Hubbert linearization is far from being linear, but an ultimate about 2200 Mb looks a fair estimate (present cumulative is 1830 Mb).

  13. Why are Maples preferred? it’s the box! Who’s the Moron that designed the Silver American Box?

    For Maples – 20 tubes (25 Coins per tube)= 500 Exterior box size is 9-3/4 x 8 x 4-1/2= 351 ci
    For Eagles – 25 tubes (20 coins per tube)= 500 15 X 8.5 X 4.5 = 573.75 ci
    Is there a reason the 25 tubes weren’t placed 5×5? The maples are placed 4×5

    http://goldsilver.com/article/how-to-store-silver-at-home/

    http://www.apmex.com/product/43015/empty-500-coin-1-oz-silver-maple-leaf-monster-box-yellow

    http://www.apmex.com/product/8873/1-oz-silver-american-eagle-500-coin-green-monster-box-empty
    Rant over

  14. What about the gold that is being mined in China? Is there any report on the amount of gold China is getting from it’s mines?

  15. Does anybody know whether the open interest on silver comex contracts still high compared with previous delivery months and septembers ?

    It looked it is now very small but has no comex experience.

    Thanks for your help.

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