Silver Eagle sales in August worst by far in 2013 - BULLISH
Only 1.5 million, the next lowest months are well over 3 million. In my contrarian view, this means we shook out all the dumb-dumbs again and can resume higher. I've seen this many times in the last 13 years. Fools buy high and sell low over and over.
The mint has been rationing their sales of Silver Eagles since the beginning of the year. They are selling everything that they can make. They ran out of 2012 eagles in early/mid Dec and suspended all sales as they were switching over to 2013 coin production. The first sale in Jan was around the 7th and they dumped 3+ weeks of production onto the market at once and it was immediately gobbled up. They now ration out their weekly production every Monday. While "rationing" is in effect, the mint has to accumulate a sufficient number of coins before offering them up for sale. To buy from the mint you have to be an authorized purchaser and the minimum purchase for silver eagles is 25,000 coins. The last I saw, there are 12 authorized purchasers for silver coins. They are rationed out as a percentage of the purchaser's previous normal volume. Anyway, at a minimum they would need to stamp out 300,000 coins before offering up a distribution.
The mint has always said that they have the capability to mint more coins. It's just that they are limited by the number of blanks available. Of course being an inept government agency they don't stockpile any blanks for when demand picks up and they don't order more when they run short.
The law used to say that the mint had to produce in quantities sufficient to meet demand. Over the past 5 years they have failed to meet demand numerous times. So to rectify the problem, instead of ordering more blanks, they just had the law changed to say that they had to produce in quantities that the Treasury Secretary determines to be sufficient. Kind of like going to an all you can eat buffet and they give you a small plate of food and say, "That's all you can eat".
Current wording of the law:
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary shall mint and issue, in qualities and quantities that the Secretary determines are sufficient to meet public demand, coins which…
To give you an idea on the backlog on Silver Eagles, look at a site like Colorado Gold. They are just a broker (they hold no physical stock) for AMARK, one of the major wholesalers in the US and an authorized purchaser from the US Mint. Colorado Gold is currently showing a 30 day delivery delay for Silver Eagles. That indicates that at the wholesale level they are backed up with 30 days of waiting orders. Sure, most dealers have ASE's in stock, but they have had to place orders well in advance to secure that inventory.
Also, they show a 30 day delay on Silver Maples, 21 day delay for 90% junk, 7 day delay on RCM 100 oz bars, and no delay on Philharmonics or 1 and 10 oz OPM bars.