Gold, Silver and Other Precious Metals Dive in February

Gold bullion and charts
Precious metals sank in February 2013, though sales of US Mint bullion coins were strong

Precious metals dropped Thursday, increasing February losses that tallied to 5.0% for gold, 9.3% for silver, 5.5% for platinum and 1.5% for palladium.

Gold extended its string of monthly declines to five while the other metals reversed course from gains in January.

Marking a second day of losses, gold futures for April delivery fell $17.60, or 1.1%, to $1,578.10 an ounce on the Comex in New York. In dollars, gold prices retreated $83.90 in February. The streak of five monthly losses is the longest since 1997, reports Bloomberg. The precious metal last settled higher for a month in September at $1,773.90 an ounce.

"Investors are reassessing where they have their money allocated at, and they are now focusing on the equity markets which have been holding up very firm," Reuters quoted Phillip Streible, senior commodities trader at futures brokerage RJ O’Brien.

Some market-watchers do expect gold prices to turnaround.

MarketWatch reports that analysts at Commerzbank said they didn’t "believe the current weakness in the price of gold to be sustainable."

"A number of aspects point toward higher gold prices: the Indian finance minister, for instance, announced no further hikes in gold import duties in his annual budget speech today. Coupled with the lower local prices of late, this could give rise to growing gold demand in India in future,"

Gold prices thus far in 2013 have fallen $97.70, or 5.8%.

Silver for May delivery dropped 55.3 cents, or 1.9%, to close at $28.432 an ounce. It sank $2.92 in February, pulling prices down 5.9% for the year to date. Silver advanced 3.7% in January.

In PGM settlement prices Thursday:

  • April platinum declined $16.60, or 1.0%, to $1,583.50 an ounce

  • Palladium for June delivery lost $11.10, or 1.5%, to $734.55 an ounce

Both precious metals have advanced so far in 2013 with gains of 2.7% for platinum and 4.4% for palladium.

London Precious Metals

Precious metals in London were mixed Thursday and for February. In contrasting the Wednesday PM to Thursday PM London Fix prices:

  • Gold declined $15.75, or 1.0%, to $1,588.50 an ounce,
  • Silver shed 12.0 cents, or 0.4%, to $28.95 an ounce,
  • Platinum slipped $11.00, or 0.7%, to $1,598.00 an ounce, and
  • Palladium added $3.00, or 0.4%, to $744.00 an ounce

For the month in London, palladium climbed 0.7%. The other precious metals logged monthly losses of 4.6% for gold, 9.6% for silver and 4.4% for platinum.

US Bullion Coin Sales in February 2013

February was a strong sales month for U.S. Mint bullion coins. But, and as expected, buying levels fell significantly from January when new the 2013-dated coins launched. February bullion product sales have not been officially closed by the U.S. Mint, though the totals are not likely to change. As they stand now:

  • American Eagle silver coins hit 3,368,500 in February. That compares to the all-time monthly record of 7,498,000 in January and sales of 1,490,000 from a year ago.

  • February sales of American Eagle gold coins reached 80,500 ounces versus the January total 150,000 ounces and the year ago total of 21,000 ounces.

  • American Buffalo gold coin sales totaled 11,500 ounces, which was well lower than the 72,500 ounces in January — the best monthly total since October 2009. Sales finished at 7,000 ounces in February 2012.

  • February sales of American the Beautiful 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins totaled 11,840 coins versus the January total of 28,960 coins and the year ago total of 300 coins.

Sales for each U.S. Mint bullion coin follow.

American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales
  Thursday Sales Last Week Week-To-Date Sales February Sales YTD Sales
$50 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins 0 14,000 16,000 68,000 192,500
$25 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins 0 2,000 1,000 5,000 22,000
$10 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins 0 6,000 2,000 12,000 36,000
$5 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins 0 35,000 5,000 70,000 180,000
$50 American Buffalo Bullion Gold Coins 0 6,000 2,500 11,500 84,000
American Silver Eagle Coins 0 903,000 822,000 3,368,500 10,866,500


America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coin Sales
  Thursday Sales Last Week Week-To-Date February Sales All-Time Sales
2012 El Yunque National Forest 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins 0 1,600 0 2,100 24,000
2012 Chaco Culture National Historical Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins 0 1,200 2,000 3,800 23,800
2012 Acadia National Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins 0 0 0 0 25,400
2012 Hawai’i Volcanoes 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins 0 0 0 0 20,000
2012 Denali National Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins 0 0 0 0 20,000
2011 Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins 0 0 0 0 104,900
2011 Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins 2,000 0 2,000 4,200 47,700
2011 Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins 0 3,800 500 4,240 39,900
TOTAL 2,000 6,600 4,500 14,340 305,700


All bullion figures above are in the number of coins sold. Calculate total ounces by using the bullion coin’s weight.

In related coin news, see how far coin melt values have declined in February.

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