Silver Premiums Have Fallen, but the Short-Term Outlook Is Uncertain
With silver prices rising almost 10%, retail buying of physical silver has lessened over the past three weeks – down from the frenetic pace over the past 4 months. That’s allowed premiums on many products to fall toward normal levels. Production backlogs and delivery delays have also been dissipating.
Ask premiums for the Maple Leaf, American Eagle, and Pre-1965 90% silver U.S. coins – the products that saw the sharpest hikes through the summer – are now leading the way down. The respite will help mints and refiners catch up. Dealers are taking the opportunity to replenish inventories.
More American Eagle silver bullions coins are available this week than in the previous two weeks, although that may not matter to buyers who haven’t ordered as many as they could since earlier this month.
The United States Mint has limited sales of American Silver Eagles since their return after temporarily selling out in July. This week’s allocation level advanced 4.4% to 1,043,500 coins. Last week’s amount slipped 3% to 970,000 coins from the prior week’s supply of 1 million coins.
Weekly inventories through most of the summer sold within a few days of their release. That hasn’t been the case for two straight weeks with a combined 113,500 coins left on the table.
The U.S. Mint does not sell bullion Silver Eagles straight to the public. They are sold through a network of authorized purchasers. AP’s consist of major coin and precious metals dealers, brokerage companies, and other participating financial intermediaries. They must pay $2 more than the spot value of each coin they buy.
Sales of the 1-ounce, .999 fine silver coins at 38,986,000 for the year are on track for an annual record, up 8.1% through the same time in 2014. Last year when sales ended at a record totaling 44,006,000, the coins through Oct. 23, 2014 posted sales of 36,066,000.