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From Kitco News.  www.kitco.com

Perth Mint sees record demand first-quarter demand for gold bullion

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(Kitco News) - Mints worldwide are seeing unprecedented demand for physical bullion, with the Perth Mint the latest to announce record sales for the first quarter of 2021.

In a blog post published Tuesday, the Perth Mint said 130,000 troy ounces of gold and almost 1.6 million troy ounces of silver shipped to clients worldwide in March.

“These figures are 285% higher (gold) and 178% higher (silver) than average monthly sales dating back to 2012,” the mint said in the commentary.

In the first quarter this year, the Perth Mint sold more than 330,000 ounces of gold and more than 4.5 million ounces of silver, said Jordan Eliseo, manager of listed products and investment research at the mint, in the report.

“These figures represent the highest calendar quarter on record for gold and the fourth-highest calendar quarter on record for silver,” he said.

General Manager Minted Products Neil Vance said that the most popular bullion coins at the Perth Mint are the one-ounce Kangaroo coins.

“The market continues to take everything we can make at present,” he said.

The historic demand for gold and silver comes as both precious metals saw sharp declines since the start of the year. The mint noted that gold prices fell 11% and silver prices dropped 9% in the first three months of 2021.

“There have been multiple factors contributing to the sell-off, which has now seen the U.S. dollar gold price pullback by almost 20% since it hit all-time highs in August 2020,” the mint said.

Resilient strength in the U.S. dollar, rising 10-year bond yields, growing competition from cryptocurrencies and record valuation in equity markets are all competing against the gold market, the Perth Mint said.

The strong demand for bullion comes as the Perth Mint continues to battle it out with social media and Reddit users who are encouraging investors to run on the mint and create a physical short squeezing. Reddit users have accused the mint of not having enough physical silver.

The Perth Mint said that it has plenty of supply, but it takes time to refine the metal into its popular products.

“While we just about satisfied demand for gold this month, interest in silver is outstripping our capacity to convert plentiful supplies into finished goods,” said Vance.

The data from the Perth Mint is also in line with global demand trend. Data from the U.S. Mint shows that it sold 412,000 ounces of gold in the first quarter of 2021, its best start since to the year since 1999.

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