Silver Retail Investor Demand Strong In August; Silver Still Lags Gold
New York (Sept 3) Retail investment has improved for silver but the metal continues to underperform gold, says the consultancy Metals Focus. August sales of American Eagle silver coins were 4.9 million ounces, taking the year-to-date total to 32 million, a rise of 14% year-on-year, Metals Focus says. This might actually understate the true strength of retail interest since the U.S. Mint temporarily suspended coins in July, the consultancy continues. Meanwhile, the retail sector in India “appears to be in incredibly strong health,” with August bullion imports of around 900 tons, taking year-to-date imports to 4,900, a nearly 50% increase on the same period last year. “In spite of the health of U.S. and Indian retail investor buying, silver prices have still underperformed gold in recent months,” Metals Focus says, noting that the gold/silver posted a seven-year high of almost 80:1 on Aug. 26. The firm cites the re-emergence of safe-haven demand for gold and renewed equity weakness in China that hit professional investor appetite for industrial metals, including silver.