The Perth Mint’s gold product sales in 2021 were the most in ten years, despite halving in December from the previous month, the refiner said on Thursday.
Monthly sales of gold coins and minted bars fell 52.7% in December to 54,861 ounces, the lowest level since August, and were down 28.6% from a year earlier.
Even with the slide, Perth Mint said, across all of 2021 it sold 1,050,242 troy ounces of gold, “the highest figure for any calendar year in the last decade”, with holdings up 4% for the year.
Silver product sales rose 13.2% in December to 1,733,293 ounces, up from 1,530,598 ounces in November and jumping about 84% from a year earlier.
Over the last 12 months, total holdings of silver were flat, the mint said.
More than 19 million ounces of silver in minted product form were sold over the year, said Jordan Eliseo, manager of listed products and investment research.
Global benchmark spot gold prices were up about 3.1% for December, as a weaker dollar made gold more appealing for buyers holding non-U.S. currencies.
Spot silver gained about 2.1% last month.
Gold prices fell 3.6% in 2021, though, as a recovering global economy pushed investors towards riskier assets and curbed interest for safe-haven assets such as bullion.
“Despite these headwinds, demand was robust, evidenced through physical bar and coin purchasing, a recovery in consumer demand and strong central bank purchasing, with the global gold ETF market the only weak sector in 2021,” Eliseo said.
The Perth Mint, owned by the government of Western Australia, refines a majority of the newly mined gold in Australia, one of the world’s biggest gold producers.
(By Bharat Govind Gautam and Seher Dareen; Editing by Tom Hogue)