Demand for U.S. gold and silver coins retreated in July, continuing a hilly trend of gradually declining sales.
Buying activity did spike, but late. Exceptionally sluggish demand around July 4th and through the third week of July drove U.S. Mint sales of American Eagle gold and silver coins to three-month lows.
American Eagle gold coins reached 30,500 ounces, off 49.2% from the 60,000 ounces in June and down 56.7% from the 64,500 ounces in July 2011. For the year-to-date, the 22-karat gold coins attained sales of 374,000 ounces — the weakest total through the first seven months of a year since 2008.
Demand dipped a bit less drastically for American Eagle silver coins. U.S. Mint distributors ordered 2,278,000 in July. The pace marks a 20.3% drop from 2,585,000 in June and lags the year ago level of 2,968,000 by 23.3%.
Year-to-date sales stand at 19,670,000 for the 99.9% fine silver coins. Issued annually by the U.S. Mint since 1986, only 2010 and 2011 have better seven-month starts. Still, last year’s sales were at 25,271,500 by the end of July.
In American Buffalo gold coins, 4,000 ounces were ordered for what is now the slowest sales month on record. The 24-karat gold bullion coins were introduced in 2006.
Bucking other U.S. Mint bullion products, America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins improved with 18,700 sold for a total of 93,500 ounces — easily the best monthly amount this year. Sales were lifted with the release of the Acadia bullion coin which scored opening sales of 9,900.
For reference, the following grid offers U.S. Mint bullion coin sales by month and year-to-date.
|January-July and YTD 2012 US Mint Bullion Coin Sales|
|Jan 2012||Feb 2012||Mar 2012||Apr 2012||May 2012||Jun 2012||Jul 2012||YTD 2012|
|American Eagle Gold (1 oz)||84,500||20,000||57,500||19,000||49,000||55,000||28,500||313,500|
|American Eagle Gold (1/2 oz)||49,000||0||2,000||0||3,000||2,000||0||56,000|
|American Eagle Gold (1/4 oz)||38,000||2,000||0||2,000||4,000||6,000||2,000||54,000|
|American Eagle Gold (1/10 oz)||85,000||5,000||40,000||5,000||15,000||25,000||15,000||190,000|
|American Buffalo Gold (1 oz)||13,500||7,000||26,000||9,000||9,500||10,000||4,000||79,000|
|America the Beautiful Silver 5 oz Coins||5,700||300||1,800||200||5,600||7,900||18,700||40,200|
|American Eagle Silver||6.107M||1.49M||2.542M||1.52M||2.875M||2.858M||2.278M||19.67M|