Covid Outbreak at the US Mint Causes Shortage of Gold and Silver Coins
Bloomberg reports U.S. Mint Has Reduced Silver, Gold Coin Supplies to Purchasers
The US Mint has reduced the volume of gold and silver coins it’s distributing to authorized purchasers as the coronavirus pandemic slows production, a document seen by Bloomberg shows.
The Mint’s West Point complex in New York is taking measures to prevent the virus from spreading among its employees, and that will probably slow coin production there for the next 12 to 18 months, the document shows. The facility is no longer able to produce gold and silver coins at the same time, forcing it to choose one metal over the other, according to the document, which was presented to companies authorized to buy coins from the Mint last week.
“The pandemic created a whole new set of challenges for us to manage,” the Mint said in the document. “We believe that this environment is going to continue to lead to some degree of reduced capacity as West Point struggles to balance employee safety against market demand.”
To cope with demand, the Mint is now asking dealers to provide their 10-day and 90-day forecasts for demand for the first time ever. That will allow it to decide what products to make as some are more labor-intensive than others, according to the document. If the Mint decides to make one-tenth of an ounce of gold, for instance, it must cut production of American Eagle Silver coins.
No Shortage of Gold or Silver
This story is sure to bring out all sorts of silliness regarding a shortage of physical gold and silver as well as conspiracy theories regarding how much gold is in Fort Knox.
Also look for nonsensical articles on the alleged price difference between paper gold and physical gold.
I discussed this setup on March 31 in No WSJ, Gold is Not the New Unobtanium: Where to Buy?
On March 29 I tweeted: "It is easy enough to buy gold and silver at Goldmoney. I bought silver today at Goldmoney. If you insist on forms in limited supply, yep, the price is high."
Gold and Silver Coins From the Mint
The markup on coins from the mint is too ridiculous for me.
Gold Hits New Record High and There's More to Come
In case you missed it, please see my report on Gold COTs which led me to this viewpoint: Gold Hits New Record High and There's More to Come
Gold vs the US Dollar
If by chance you think gold moves inversely to the US dollar you need to reconsider.
For discussion, please see Nonsense from the WSJ on Gold vs the Dollar