Mints logging strong sales, while premiums in India soar
The tug of war over gold prices is in full sway. "On one hand, you have bullion demand from China, from India, that's relatively strong, but weak institutional demand from North America and from Europe," CNBC
's Sharon Epperson said
in Wednesday's closing market report. Gold finished up slightly for the day near $1,285.
Reports from varied sources confirm strong physical demand in not only Asia but also the West. Here in the U.S., Mineweb reported
, sales of the Mint
's silver American Eagle bullion coins
soared to their best July ever. The more than 4.4 million coins sold amounted to a 93.4% increase over July 2012 sales, when 2.28 million were sold. For the first seven months of the year, silver Eagle sales grew at the fastest pace ever, hitting almost 29.5 million ounces, a threshold not accomplished until Nov. 5 of last year. The current annual record is more than 39.8 million Eagles. Sales are on pace to top 50 million for 2013.
Meanwhile, gold American Eagle coin
sales were reported at 50,500 ounces sold in July of this year, up nearly 66% from 30,500 ounces in July 2012. Year-to-date sales from January to July totaled 679,500 ounces, ranking sixth overall in sales for the first seven months of the year since the coins debuted in 1986.Australia
: The Perth Mint
has released gold and silver sales figures for July. The totals were higher when compared to both the prior month and the year ago period. Sales of gold coins and minted products for the month was 56,488.25 troy ounces -- up 66.01% compared to the sales from the year-ago period. For the year to date, gold sales are now 462,113.17 ounces. Sales of silver as coins and minted products logged the second-highest monthly total for the year for an increase of 54.02% compared to the year-ago period.Germany
: The gold trading company Degussa Goldhandel
has acquired regional metals dealer SilviOr GmbH
, in a bid to expand trading and vaulting capacity to meet expected growth in coin and bar demand. Germany had seen substantial growth in gold coin and bar demand in the second quarter from 19 tonnes in the first three months of the year, Degussa managing director Wolfgang Wrzesniok-Rossbach
said. "Since the gold price crash in April our investment turnover has been above 100 million euros per month and there is no sign of abating," Wrzesniok-Rossbach said. "We expect a turnover of 1 billion euros this year, having started from zero in November 2011."India
: As reported earlier this week, China's gold imports from Hong Kong dipped slightly in June but still topped more than 100 metric tons. In India, demand is high in the wake of new government restrictions on the trade to curb its account deficit. Premiums in India are skyrocketing, and smuggling is increasing. The gold price in Mumbai's Zaveri Bazaar
is still at a very high premium, the Business Standard
reported. "There is acute shortage of ready delivery gold in the market due to restriction on imports which is leading to such a high premium."
Silver seems to be gaining popularity in India as gold becomes scarcer, HSBC
analysts James Steel
and Howard Wen said
this week. "Greater industrial silver consumption is one of the most compelling arguments in favor of stable prices, and HSBC economics forecasts growing industrial output in key silver-consuming countries in East Asia and the U.S.," they wrote. "Coin and bar demand is robust and after several years of decline, jewelry demand appears to be stabilizing. Indian imports are robust, where silver demand seems to be benefiting from government policies aimed at constraining gold demand."Vietnam
: TienPhong Bank
in late July launched its new eGold
service that enables customers to trade gold bars through Internet and mobile banking channels. It is the first bank to provide online gold trading in Vietnam. TienPhong chairman, Do Minh Phu
, said the service would help reduce costs for the bank and its customers and limit risk in gold transactions. The service will accept transactions of Saigon Jewelry Co.
gold and several kinds of gold rings from DOJI Gold and Gemstone Group
. Phu said after transactions were completed, buyers could receive gold bars at the bank's transaction points or have them secured at the bank.