OCTOBER 1, 2015 BY SAMUEL BRYAN
The demand for physical silver is absolutely through the roof. The mainstream media has finally caught up with a story we began reporting on back in July. Yesterday, Reuters reported booming worldwide demand for silver coins:
“The global silver-coin market is in the grips of an unprecedented supply squeeze, forcing some mints to ration sales and step up overtime while sending U.S. buyers racing abroad to fulfill a sudden surge in demand. The U.S. Mint began setting weekly sales quotas for its flagship American Eagle silver coins in July because it can’t meet demand, and the Canadian mint followed suit after record monthly sales in July. In Australia, the Perth Mint sold a record of more than 2.5 million ounces of silver this month, nearly four times more than in August, and has begun rationing supply of a new line of coins this month, a mint official said.”
The US Mint in West Point, New York, produces the popular American Eagle coins. A spokesperson for the mint said it is currently operating three shifts and paying overtime in an attempt to keep up with demand. Officials with Australia’s Perth Mint also report increased production of silver blanks after higher-than-expected demand in July and August.
The US Mint sold 14.26 million ounces of American Eagle silver coins in the third quarter. That represents the highest sales volume on record, dating back to 1986.
The Royal Canadian Mint began limiting sales of its silver Maple Leaf coins in July. Reports throughout the industry are that this level of demand is practically unprecedented:
In his 35 years of dealing precious metals, Roy Friedman, vice president of sales and trading at Manfra, Tordella & Brookes, one of the biggest U.S. wholesale coin dealers, said “he could not recall seeing a squeeze in supplies of North American silver coins spilling over to coins made in Austria and the U.K. to the degree seen this year.”
Analysts say “mom-and-pop investors” are driving the market.
The difficulty in getting coins from US mints has led many investors and collectors to look overseas, and that triggered a domino effect in Europe and Asia. We are now seeing a truly world-wide supply shortage of silver coins.
While there have been squeezes in the past, according to Reuters, “This episode has lasted far longer, and its effect more pronounced, than in the past, dealers say.”