By Sean Moffatt
Being in the bullion manufacturing business for going on 30 years, I have some insight that I would like to share. It is not just the U.S. Mint silver Eagles that are slow. Pretty much every other bullion product sales from all the major producers and wholesalers have been slow. I found myself briefly unemployed during the last year and it was nigh impossible to get hired by any bullion manufacturers as all were experiencing cut backs.
In the past I have seen to whom the bullion products I have had a hand in manufacturing have been sold (other than the U.S. Mint) and have a feel for who the buyers are, so I feel I can offer the following insights as to why silver Eagle and precious metal sales in general are at levels far below previous years.
1. The guns and bunker, a.k.a. bullets and bullion, demographic was happy with the last presidential election results. They feel confident in the economy, and the hoarding did not happen like after the two previous presidential elections. In 2008 and 2012, I worked for bullion manufacturers and record production rates were being made each year and for the few years following each election.
2. This current lack of demand caused prices to drop some and the markets became dormant with no real movement. Investors want the movement so they can make money.
3. With the lower prices, no one is really interested in selling their stockpiles. So this creates a wait-and-see market situation.
4. The economy/Wall Street is doing well and those markets are moving so the investors are directing their resources there, leaving precious metals behind.
5. While the threats of wars are out there, it seems potential buyers are somewhat numb to it and are not stockpiling precious metals in case the worst happens.
6. The London Bullion Market Association price fixing scandal involving the Deutsche Bank and others has scared off some potential buyers.
These items, I believe, are the main factors as to why most all bullion sales are down. I am a manufacturer, not an economist. I’m sure those who are smarter than I am in economics may argue my points. But I know who my customers were, and are, and I have been told by them why they are not currently buying in the same quantities of the past five to 10 years.
This “Viewpoint” was written by Sean Moffatt of Oklahoma City, Okla.
Viewpoint is a forum for the expression of opinion on a variety of numismatic subjects. To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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