July 03 (Gold and Silver Blog) — Sales of the one ounce American Eagle silver bullion coins plunged in June from both the previous month and previous year. After hitting sales of almost 4 million ounces during May the US Mint reports that sales of the silver bullion coins for June totaled only 2,682,000.
June sales plunged by over 32% from the prior month and by almost 18% compared to June 2013 when sales were 3,275,000 ounces. Monthly sales of the silver bullion coins can show dramatic month to month changes based on supply and demand so it is difficult to read much into the current month’s sales figures.
Reflecting the drop in current demand the US Mint recently suspended its allocation program which had been implemented a year ago in the face of soaring demand for silver bullion coins during 2013. Sales of the American Eagle silver bullion coins reached a record during 2013 with sales of 42,675,000 ounces, up 26 % from 33,742,500 ounces during 2012.
The American Eagle silver bullion coins remain extremely popular with small investors and sales have remained extremely robust ever since the near implosion of the financial system during 2008. Sales of the silver bullion coins prior to 2008 ran from eight to ten million ounces per year compared to yearly sales of 30 to 40 million ounces per year after 2008.
Sales of the American Eagle silver bullion coins could easily hit another all time record high during 2014 if sales continue at their current pace. If sales for the next six months match the first six months, sales of the silver bullion coins for 2014 could come in at close to 50 million ounces, shattering last year’s record high sales of 42,675,000.
The American Eagle silver bullion coins cannot be purchased by individuals directly from the U.S Mint. The coins are sold only to the Mint’s network of authorized purchasers who buy the coins in bulk based on the market value of silver and a markup by the U.S. Mint. The authorized purchasers sell the silver coins to coin dealers, other bullion dealers and the public. The Mint’s rationale for using authorized purchasers is that this method makes the coins widely available to the public with reasonable transaction costs.
Shown below is a graph of sales of the silver bullion coins by year since 2000.
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