One-Tenth Ounce American Gold Eagle Sales Suspended at U.S. Mint on Unprecedented Demand
Posted by Brian Ford on April 24, 2013
The U.S. Mint has announced a suspension on sales of its one-tenth ounce sized American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins following skyrocketing demand on lower prices that has depleted the government’s inventory of gold.
Temporary suspensions have become much more common at the U.S. Mint in recent years, with American Eagle Silver Coins suspended for the third time in January of this year as the U.S. Mint sought to replenish its stock.
The current suspension of gold bullion coin is the first time the Mint has halted sales on a gold product since November 2009.
Demand for both gold and silver bullion has been at all-time highs, per sales figures from the U.S. Mint. So far in the month of April 2013 alone, the Mint has moved 175,000 ounces of American Eagle Gold Coins, which places current sales levels close to challenging the high of 231,500 ounces, which was set in December of 2009.
Recently, the price of gold dropped to two year lows, sparking a buying frenzy that began in Asian markets as investors cleaned out stock in search of physical gold bullion. Gold bullion retailers are reporting unprecedented demand and long wait times for delivery.
Michael Kramer, president of Manfra, Tordella, & Brookes, reported being inundated by orders from both new and existing wholesale customers. Kramer called it panic, saying this is one of the busiest times in quite a while. He added that people think is at the lows and they want to take advantage of it.
Abroad, it appears buyers are acting on the ideas. In the past week and a half imports of gold bullion to mainland China from Hong Kong surged by 1,000 tons. Haywood Cheung, president of the Hong Kong Gold & Silver Exchange Society, told the Financial Times he hasn’t seen this kind of gold rush in over 20 years and older members who have been in the business 50 years haven’t witnessed such a thing.
The one-tenth ounce American Eagle Gold Bullion Coin is the most popular size of one of the most popular coins in the world, with year to date sales up over 118 percent from the same period in 2012, according to the Mint.
Buyers appear to perceive that with gold prices down 16 percent year to date and off 26 percent from the $1,921 per troy ounce high set in September 2011, even a modest rally from current prices will yield high returns.