Word on the bourse floor while I was in China was that Panda bullion coin sales were down.
The drop in sales is on par with what has been happening with American Eagles in the United States.
In the United States, silver Eagle numbers just get grimmer and grimmer with less time to catch up.
Sales are usually cut off fairly early in December.
So far in November, the Mint has vended 265,000 silver Eagles.
This puts the month in competition to have the lowest result of 2017.
September currently holds that title with sales of 320,000.
Can the Mint find buyers for another 55,000 Eagles before Dec. 1 rolls around?
You would think so.
However, a narrow escape from being the worst sales month of the year is putting very little lipstick on this pig.
November is not a seasonally slow sales month.
Last year, the Mint sold over 3 million silver Eagles.
In 2015, it sold very nearly 5 million.
Going from 5 million to 3 million to 265,000 is quite a toboggan slide lower.
The mystery remains, why this year?
Bullion prices have not been weak.
Pet theories about the election of President Trump and the resulting increase in economic confidence seem plausible.
But how does this apply to China?
One interesting observation made in China is that many gold and silver coin buyers are elderly.
They have dramatically slowed their purchases.
There is no explanation there, either, as to why.
I don’t think they are thinking about American President Trump.
Looking at this from the U.S. Mint’s perspective, they see calendar year 2017 sales down by roughly 20 million pieces. That is huge.
Private firms hold sales when faced with bad results.
The Mint cannot do this with bullion. It just has to lump it.
If you are one of those who have cut back your silver Eagle purchases this year, would you tell me why?
Send me an email at email@example.com, or post a comment below.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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