What is presented below has be reviewed in a larger context. Going back to June 2015 when the US Mint and Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) both sold out of the two most popular silver coins in the world – the American Silver Eagle and Canadian Silver Maple Leaf. The RCM also sold out of 10oz silver bars. Both of the mints struggled for months and months to bring coins to market. In 2016 the US Mint instituted a program to limit the number of American Silver Eagles the authorized purchasers (AP) could acquire. The sales to AP’s were very high for the first half of 2016 – most months registering north of 4 million silver eagles sold. This now appears to be, as some of the AP’s noted, stockpiling efforts to avoid being out of product in case these mints ran dry again. There stockpiling seems to have run a little hot and now we see somewhat of a backlash of their stockpiling efforts.
It seems this year is getting off to a very slow start, especially compared to 2016. If we look at the charts below we can see how American Gold Eagles, sold to authorized purchasers (wholesalers) compare.
Total combined sales, all coin sizes, of American Gold Eagles (ex Gold Buffalos) in January 2016 were 124,000 ounces compared to 2017 of 117,500. That’s a drop in sales of 6,500 ounces or just under 5%
Although February is incomplete we can see the same trend is continuing and it appears to be a much deeper dive than January.
Month-to-date gold Eagle ounces sold is a mere 19,000 with only 7 selling days remaining in February. The entire month of February 2016 (20 sales days total) there was a total of 83,500 gold Eagles sold – if we take half that number we find 41,750. If we break down February 2016 sales by 1/3 we find 27,833. However you look at February 2017 gold eagle sales appear to be making a massive cliff dive compared to 2016. Unless the authorized purchasers begin ramping up their acquisitions February 2017 is going to be well above a 50% drop in sales of American Gold Eagles. Will American Gold Eagle sales reach 27,800 ounces in February 2017? This would represent a 66% drop in sales compared to 2016. WOW!
Let’s take a look at American Silver Eagle sales in 2017 as compared to 2016. What we find is a horror story. So far, silver Eagle sales in February 2017 are barely registering. Keep in mind these sales figures are what the authorized purchasers (wholesalers) are delivering into their warehouses either for stockpiling or immediate sales to retailers. This year, it appears, they have plenty of stock.
The charts above tell-the-tale. No need for further comment as there is really no comparison. February 2017 silver eagle sales have dropped by more than 80% compared to February 2016.
In 2016 we conducted a series of reports, primarily on our You Tube channel – click here to subscribe if you haven’t already – and as 2016 progressed the same persistent question was continually ask – if the “sales” of American Silver Eagles were so strong, was it just the authorized purchasers stockpiling? It appears, with a market filled with left over 2016 American Silver Eagles, this was the right question to be asking. We now have confirmation the retail buyer was somewhat absent in the market and appears to have all but disappeared in 2017.
Of course you should draw your own conclusions, but the numbers above, as far as we know, don’t lie. These charts are directly from the US Mint website.
If this trend continues, especially with silver eagles, we could see one of the worst years for silver eagle sales in a great many years – we may reach back prior to 2008 when sales were just beginning to ramp up for the “2008 financial crisis” and rapid rise in value of silver and gold in 2011.
It is impossible to know if my analysis is correct, but the picture will come into full view as 2017 continues to unfold. Unless something changes the cheerleaders on mainstream media will have a lot bad news to report month after month in the precious metals space.
What’s really funny is the digital COMEX “price” for both silver and gold remained somewhat muted in the face of strong sales in the first of 2016. We are seeing the exact same thing in 2017 – muted sales with rising “prices”. This shows the pricing mechanism, run by the criminals at the COMEX and LBMA, is a disaster and 100% wrong.