Gold, Silver and Palladium Rally in April; U.S. Mint Sales Slow

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Most precious metals registered weekly losses but they all scored monthly gains — exceptional ones for gold, silver and palladium. Palladium led metals in April, and ended the month at a new record. Gold’s monthly increase was its first since December.

Gold for June delivery on Friday edged down 60 cents, or 0.03%, to settle at $1,767.70 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gold had "a challenging week and has been seeking direction given a number of conflicting factors, which include inflation, the U.S. dollar and U.S. GDP," Jeff Wright, chief investment officer at Wolfpack Capital, told MarketWatch.

Gold futures traded 0.6% lower this week after shedding 0.1% last week. They advanced 3% in April following three straight monthly losses. The yellow metal is down 6.7% on the year to date.

In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street & Main Street surveys:

"This week, 15 analysts participated in Kitco News’ gold survey. Of those, eight analysts, or 53%, said they were bearish on gold; at the same time, seven analysts, or 47%, said they were neutral on prices next week.

Meanwhile, a total of 954 votes were cast in online Main Street polls. Of these, 512 respondents, or 54%, looked for gold to rise next week. Another 249, or 26%, said lower, while 193 voters, or 20%, were neutral."

Elsewhere, silver for May delivery fell 21.2 cents, or 0.8%, to close at $25.873 an ounce. Silver futures traded 0.8% lower this week after dipping 0.1% last week. They surged 5.5% in April after sinking 7.2% in March. Silver prices are 2% lower on the year.

In PGM futures on Friday, for the week, and in April:

  • July platinum added $7.60, or 0.6%, to end at $1,205.20 an ounce, but logged a 2.3% weekly decline. Platinum posted a 1.2% monthly increase.

  • Palladium for June delivery added $5.10, or 0.2%, to a record settlement of $2,953.70 an ounce, for a 3.4% weekly increase. Palladium soared 12.7% in April.

The two are sharply higher on the year so far with gains of 11.7% for platinum and 20.4% for palladium.

US Mint Bullion Sales in 2021

Sales of United States Mint American Eagle and Buffalo bullion products slowed in April compared to March. In headline comparisons:

  • American Eagle gold coins increased by 38,500 ounces in April, marking declines of 41.7% from sales of 66,000 ounces in March and 63.3% from sales of 105,000 ounces in April 2020. For the year so far, American Gold Eagle sales at 450,500 ounces are 39.3% higher than the 323,500 ounces delivered during the first four months of last year.

  • American Eagle silver coins rose by 1,053,000 ounces, dropping 74.2% from sales of 4,087,000 ounces in March and jumping 40.4% from sales of 750,000 ounces in April 2020. American Silver Eagle sales for the year at 13,106,500 are 22.2% higher than the 10,728,500 coins sold through the same time in 2020.

  • American Buffalo gold coins advanced 11,000 ounces, marking losses of 67.2% from sales of 33,500 ounces in March and 61.4% from sales of 28,500 ounces in April 2020. American Gold Buffalo sales for the year so far at 122,000 ounces are 5.2% higher than the 116,000 ounces delivered in the same period last year.

  • American Eagles platinum coins registered no sales in April and have a 2021 total of 35,000 ounces — all from their debut release in March. Last year’s edition logged sales in each of the first four months (14,500 oz, 9,300 oz, 31,200 oz, and 1,500 oz) and none later. It ended at 56,500 ounces.

Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of coins sold during varying periods. Products with an asterisk (*) are no longer available.

US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Friday Last Week This Week February Sales March Sales April Sales 2021 Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin 0 11,500 7,500 121,000 55,500 38,500 406,000
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 0 9,000 0 0 31,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 0 0 20,000 0 56,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 0 0 55,000 0 150,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin 0 500 2,000 16,000 33,500 11,000 122,000
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin 0 0 0 3,191,500 4,087,000 1,053,000 13,106,500
$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin 0 0 0 N/A 35,000 0 35,000
Tuskegee Airmen 5 oz Silver Coin 0 0 0 N/A N/A 50,000 50,000
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Kaiser Wilhelm

I’m having great difficulty understanding how silver’s pricing can be so weak when coins etc. of this metal seem to be nearly sold out just about everywhere. What gives?

Last edited 1 month ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Kaiser Wilhelm

I did some more looking around since I wrote the comment above. It appears at least some part of the near sell-out of silver is due to yet another spontaneous but concerted attempt to corner the silver market and has very little to do if anything to do with ordinarily required demand for the metal. We have already been left dealing with much higher over-spot prices as a consequence of the prior silver monopolizing activity, so another move in a similar direction will likely enhance that previous negative outcome.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kaiser Wilhelm