U.S. Mint Sells More Silver Eagles In A Week Than Gold Eagles Over Past Three Years

The U.S. Mint just updated their Silver Eagle sales figures for May, and it was a whopper.  Since the beginning of last week, the U.S. Mint sold 1.939,500 million Silver Eagles.  This is a big number.  Total for the month of May is already at 3,262,000 oz.

We can see that May, with more than half of the month remaining, is only 300,000+ oz away from surpassing April’s total.

Silver Eagles 51314 pm

At this rate, May could turn out to be the highest sales month, beating the record set in March at 5,354,000 oz. 

At first, I thought the U.S. Mint sold 1.8 million Silver Eagles over the weekend, including Monday.  However, I received a response from Michael White, Public Affairs at the U.S. Mint letting me know that there was a glitch in the figures.

Even though the U.S. Mint updated their end of the week tally of Silver Eagles at 19.7 million, the total for May remained at 1,322,500 on Friday.  By adding up the monthly figures, the total amount should have been 18.7 million, not 19.7 million.  All the sales figures are now up to date.

That being said, the U.S. Mint sold 1,939,500 Silver Eagles as of Monday-Tuesday last week.  Again, this is a huge amount when we compare it to Gold Eagle sales.

Silver Eagle vs Gold Eagle Sales (Week - 3 years)

It took one week for the U.S. Mint to sell more Silver Eagles (1,939,500 oz) than all the Gold Eagles sold in 2012, 2013 and 2014 (1,808,000 oz).  As the chart shows, there were 753,000 oz of Gold Eagles sold in 2012, 856,500 oz in 2013, and 198,500 so far in 2014.

Just think about that for a minute.  The market purchased more Silver Eagles in one week than all the Gold Eagles since January 2012.

One more thing.  Mr White stated that the weekly allocated figure for Silver Eagles is 1,808,000.  I don’t know how many folks out there are into NUMEROLOGY, but this weeks Silver Eagle allotment is the exact same amount to the TEE, of all the Gold Eagles sold since 2012.

Just a mere coincidence?

Official Silver Coin Sales:  A Trend For Bigger Things To Come…

As I mentioned in my previous article, Official Coin Sales totaled 136 million ounces, according to data from CPM Group’s 2014 Silver Yearbook.  Even though this is only 17% of total mine supply, it is nearly 3 times the growth rate compared to 39.7 million oz official coin sales in 2003 at 6% of world mine supply.

There is a reason the public is currently buying 100 times more Silver Eagles than Gold Eagles… and it has to do with affordability and leverage.  We must remember, only a fraction of Americans are purchasing Silver Eagles.

I believe peak oil is putting a KIBOSH on silver consumption in the industrial sector.  GFMS put out a Report for the Silver Institute in 2011 forecasting industrial silver demand until 2015.

GFMS Industrial Applications

GFMS forecasted industrial silver demand would reach 600 million ounces by 2013.  However, Thomson Reuters GFMS estimates industrial demand to increase 7 million ounces in 2013 for a total of 473 million oz.  This is 125 million less than their 2011 forecast.

I don’t believe industrial silver demand will increase all that much by 2020.  On the other hand, investment demand will probably be the leading driver of the silver market due to the continued problems in the U.S. and Global financial markets.

Lastly, we are only seeing the beginning stages of silver investment demand.  I would imagine things are going to get a lot more interesting in the silver market as Americans wake up to the realization that the U.S. Dollar is not a store of value, rather a massive warehouse of debt.

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20 Comments on "U.S. Mint Sells More Silver Eagles In A Week Than Gold Eagles Over Past Three Years"

  1. It’s possible that a large % of ag eagles are being sold overseas as wealthy investors have always felt comfortable holding U.S. dollars. Now that the dollar is suspect they may still want to hold something with the U.S. stamp on it, but without the currency risk. China is one country that does not produce enough silver coins for its own population. The 11 wholesalers of silver eagles might have some indication of how many customers are international.

    • roguefaction | May 15, 2014 at 7:47 am | Reply

      “Now that the dollar is suspect they may still want to hold something with the U.S. stamp on it, but without the currency risk. China is one country that does not produce enough silver coins for its own population.”

      Somebodies getting warm…

      as for “large % of ag eagles are being sold overseas”…. please consider the term ‘sold’ as best used in a metaphorical sense. You can’t ‘sell’ what you don’t own…. unless you are AMERIKA. Where truly… ANYTHING is possible!

      “Don’t die, I’ll get you water. Stay there. Don’t move, I’ll get you water. Don’t die until later.” Tuco

      • roguefaction | May 16, 2014 at 3:47 am | Reply

        as an addendum to the above…for anyone not completely satiated by poring over graphs of US coin sales…

        this latest – http://www.ingoldwetrust.ch/are-the-london-gold-vaults-running-empty – from Koos, should provide a further clue – even if his post is unusually disjointed!

        “also because the official trade numbers I’ve used for this post do not include monetary gold, PBOC purchases will not show up in these stats” …

        being the relevant sentence therein which gives a heads up to sleuths of the precious metals breed! …………..

        of separate… but equally relevant note: http://t.co/BuqGRNNL2Y … it would appear that some members of the western gold/silver community have been traveling outside of their usual stamping grounds… in search of a new place to hide their heads??? … and were apprehended by bemused but wary Chinese security forces… not quite sure what to make of such a strange animal!

  2. Canadian dirtlump | May 14, 2014 at 8:42 am | Reply

    Funny how them playing games in January with supply is starting to fade into the abyss as demand throttles up for the year.

    I expect we’ll get proven right in the not too distant future with a price rise, but as I’ve said more and more I expect the move to be disorderly after the manure hits the oscillator.

  3. “There is a reason the public is currently buying…”

    Retail silver (coins) bullion figures don’t proove this to be the case. According to Ted Butler and Ed Steer in their most recent articles, retail sales to the “public” do not account for these high amounts of silver coin sales. So, where are these high volumes of silver coins going? And who is buying them?

    Conjecture is running rampant. Now, today we have an announcement from the LBMA, that as of August, they will no longer “fix” the daily price of silver. Ending over 100 years of doing so! The gold/silver ratio continues to rise for the last 2 years, with todays ratio sitting at 68:1 Backwardation and very tight physical bullion supply continues to haunt the markets.

    Something BIG in the physical bullion markets is in the offing. Just what this all means to the near term is anyones guess.

    • I have the same feeling…that this record buying isn’t coming through at the retail level. LCS’s are saying they are busy but not @ record levels…still buying 4 or 5 to 1 selling. But not correlating to Mint #’s…

      • Steve, I’m sure you are busy paging through the World Silver Survey – but a couple of wow’s

        1- Supply fell 70 m /oz y/o/y (scrap collapse, mining flat)

        2- total investment demand up to 240 m/oz (coins, bars, etf’s)

        3- silver ran a deficit of about 100 m/oz for ’13

        4- seems these trends will be even stronger in ’14 (less scrap, flat to down mining, investment new peaks)…I suppose it all equals new price lows (only half kidding)

  4. I saw that too. Man the supply collapse from scrap was huge. If silver stays under $20 much longer expect more of the same from scrap.

    The other thing about that report was the fact that government sales also collapsed.

    However with Escobal (Tahoe) now producing at 2 mil+ per month and the Hochschild Volcan about to come online too, I don’t see mine supply dropping.

    We just need to hang in there and let the falling grades and investment demand take their course on the market.

    • I should correct supply fell only 27 m/oz…

      I’d look for scrap to fall even further in ’14 (another 10 or 20 m/oz?)

      Regarding mine supply, you may be correct but my guess is non-primary silver miners will be slowing down in 2nd half as it becomes crystal clear China is slowing it’s building extravaganza and how large the inventories currently on hand are.

      Net net though, ’14 should see flat to lower supply than ’13 – big question is the one area Steve has been talking bout since day one…how high will investor demand go???

      • Nobody,

        I am considering doing a REPORT on this very subject. Looks like there are some serious problems with Jeff Christian’s CPM Group’s 2014 Silver Year Book’s figures compared to the release of the 2014 World Silver Survey. CPM Group shows a 105 million oz surplus (net investment) and GFMS has a 110 million oz deficit..LOL.

        That’s a 200 million ounce difference between these two OFFICIAL REPORTS…LOL.

        I heard through the grapevine… there was a conference call between the two parties…. WHOOPS.

        steve

        • Strange when demand isn’t counted as demand unless it’s the demand you want.

          couple other points –

          1- Along with a deficit of 113 m/oz for ’13, Silver Survey also showed a deficit of 66 m/oz for ’12….the format and numbers for ’12 were adjusted as I hadn’t seen any deficit call out previously? In previous Silver Supply reports, demand = supply…now they are taking pains to show there is a 10% supply deficit (and 6% for ’12)??? Someone’s making a statement?

          2- Silver ETF inventory’s (counted as part of their investment demand) are within 1% of record highs while prices have fallen 60%. Something like 600 m/oz at present…something so strange about how gold ETF’s are falling to new low inventory although gold price is only down half as much as silver. Starting from 50 m/oz (total) in ’06 to whatever the number is now (600 m/oz?) this accounted for 117 m/oz in ’12 and 10 m/oz in ’13 (despite the collapsing price).

          Guess my point is I really don’t know how to categorize this ETF chunk? Is there clear title physical backing it (they actually removed 600 m/oz from the market) or just sold paper silver certs that will eventually be redeemed for fiat? I guess I should assume they bought it but then loaned it or re-hypothecated it out…but it’s gone. And seems people make a clear distinction in ’13 they prefer to buy and hold the phyz to the paper…but why didn’t ETF holdings decline???

  5. I make that GSR of over 111. Thats one of my lucky numbers linked to my real name.If I were Chinese ,I would be buy,buy,buy.
    Sadly,Im all out of fiat,just ag and au left in the tank.

    nice one again Steve.)))

  6. Canadian mint trying to get people to buy certificates instead of the real thing. If that isn’t a clear sign of desperation, I don’t know what is.

  7. one last thing on my mind that may dovetail very nicely with your thesis of increased investor demand driving a silver blow-off…yields or lack of positive yields. Since the Fed’s pull back on QE4eva, the bond yields have only gone down from 3% to 2.55% now…defying consensus that they should be rising (and that rising positive yields should be PM negative).

    Clear Debt is growing far faster than GDP…

    ’00 ’07 ’14

    $9.2 T –> $13.7 T –> $16.2 T (GDP = 75% increase);

    $5.7 T –> $9 T –> $17.5 T (National debt = 305% increase )

    But the cost of servicing the debt isn’t hurting the Federal gov…

    6.6% —> 5% —> 2.4% (net interest rate on debt)

    $300B -> $270B —> $223B (net interest paid on national debt)

    But who bought the ever greater debt at ever lower yields???

    ’00 ’07 ’14

    $1 T —> $1.6 T —> $5.9 T (cumulative “foreign” held US Treasury debt)

    25% —> 40% —> 55% (% of notes / bonds held by “foreigners”)

    1% —> 1% —> 25% (% Fed held notes / bonds…Fed primarily held Bills until ’08)

    74% —> 59% —> 20% (% domestically held notes / bonds)

    $12.6 T Public Debt Breakdown
    Fed Foreign Domestic (non-Fed)
    Totals ($2.4 T) ($5.9 T) ($4 T)
    Bills ($1.65 T) $0 $600 B $1 T
    TIPS ($1 T) $95 B $300 B $600 B
    Notes ($8 T) $1.5 T $4.5 T $2 T
    Bond ($1.45T) $750 B $400 B $300 B

    I think it’s simpler to think of the Fed / Foreign categories as CB held or CB supported (same for the $5 T in intra-gov debt) …so these two groups holding 80% of Notes/Bonds will continue buying and continue rolling over indefinitely.

    This means the actual float in the note /bond Treasury market is a little more than $2 T. And Treasury is running a deficit of $130 B since Jan 1. So, Fed even with reducing QE is buying well in advance of this issuance and also buying up the 20% of the Domestically held Notes/ Bonds still outstanding. This is in essence a squeeze forcing yields lower and lower. With all the debt (here and abroad), yields must go ever lower or the game is up.

    When this sort of national situation is repeated globally (PIIGS, Japan at record low yields) then there is nowhere else for investors to get YIELD. Positive YIELD has historically been PM’s worst enemy. But as over-indebted, rate sensitive nations must push rates ever lower…money must go where it can get a return on or return of capital. PM’s look better placed than almost anything else in a yield-less world.

    The growing awareness that yields simply will not rise “should” be the catalyst for PM investor demand for those left in the Bond markets…they are in the vice, just a matter of time til they see the light?

    • Collapsing global YIELDS (10yr Gov. bonds)

      Less than 1%
      Japan, Switzerland

      Less than 2%
      Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France, Netherlands

      Less than 3%
      Canada, Ireland, Italy, Spain, UK, US

      Others
      Portugal (3.5%), Australia (3.75%), New Zealand (4.25%), and bad boy Greece (6%)

      Globally coordinated collapsing yields bought primarily by CB’s will push the money out…and even if a portion of the Trillions remaining in bonds reallocates, PM’s will sky rocket.

      • Exactly. Govt bonds are a no go for big money. That’s why the stock market is at all time highs. Makes sense – it is the only place to get a return. On the other hand the companies which are traded at the stock market hold record amount of reserves in – dollars. Unless two things happen either simultaneously or shortly one after another, don’t bet on PMs getting a lift higher soon. These two things are: a massive share market collapse and loss of international confidence in the dollar.

        • PM’s may not go up at all, period, until the fiat “money” paradigm completely breaks.

          My guess from all I have read, heard, and communicated with [or from] some people who contribute the best non-mainstream articles & interviews, is that could be years. Meanwhile stealth or insidious inflation will march on.

          • You could be right.

            If China continues to be the largest buyer and modulates its purchasing to maintain the current price (having already shown that it won’t drive the price up just to get more PM) then around $1300 could continue until the Central Banks’ (if that is where PM in excess of current production comes from) stocks run out.

            On a slightly different topic, would China’s authorities be encouraging their population to buy PM if they didn’t want to get rid of as many dollars as possible and believe it was a one way bet?

          • Yes, on the other hand the system could collapse very fast, too. My personal theory is that once King Abdullah goes, the petrodollar goes. Simply because the Chinese will come in and pay in gold bullion instead of dollars. That will break the dollar’s neck internationally as it will no longer be necessary as CB reserves. Once foreign CBs start selling their dollars, the only place to absorb them will be the US. That’s when sth resembling a hyperinflation might hit the US economy. In this case, obviously, the share market would go to the moon and not collapse, as well as most everything else in the country.

  8. china is the only country where yields haven’t collapsed because lending fraud/corruption is so rampant and the whole country is thus so thirsty for cash that rates stay high, which empels the central bank to increase money supply at double digits year on year.

    money supply in china doubles every five years!

    whenever i tell ppl that in china, silver is more rare than gold theirs jaws would drop.

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