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The United States Mint said Tuesday it was unable to meet surging demand for its gold and silver bullion coins in Y 2020 and through January, due partly to rising chaos demand and plant capacity issues.
Sales of US gold bullion coins rose 258% in Y 2020, while silver coin demand was up 28%.
Heavy buying has continued into Y 2021, it said, squeezing supplies, which had already been tight as virus issues affected production.
A stepped up buying lifted silver futures to an 8-yr high Monday, but dealers in the market for coins were already trying to deal with a supply shortage and shipping delays before that rally.
The Mint is a division of the US Treasury had limited distribution of its silver coins to suppliers as it is changing the designs for its American Eagle Gold and Silver Bullion Coins.
Dealers expect delays until mid-March for the most popular Mint products.
With that situation the silver coins and silver bars that are available are seeing a significantly higher premium.
In January, 220,500 American Eagle gold bullion coins were sold, up 290% from 56,500 a year earlier, the Mint said.
For this year, the Mint has a limited window to produce its current gold and silver coins, with redesigned coins expected to debut in the Summer.
It is limiting distribution of its gold, silver and platinum coins to specific dealers because of heavy demand, and a limited number of suppliers of metals, it said in a statement.
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