This week was a continuation of the 'new normal', which is anything but normal. COVID continues to complicate our work and personal lives, including the precious metals supply chain. I'll start there.
Supply Chain Disruption
Back on March 20th, the Royal Canadian Mint, North America's second largest producer, announced a two week production halt of their beloved Maple Leaf products and other best sellers. Members of industry now wait with bated breath to see if they will resume production come Monday. During the same time period, many Swiss refineries announced their shutdowns as well.
This week several key gold and silver-focused mining operations in Mexico announced their closures amongst concerns for their workers safety.
FedEx is also limiting its deliveries in some jurisdictions to essential cargo, including food and medical equipment, throwing yet another wrench in the spokes of an industry that is experiencing record demand for physical products on heavy safe haven buying.
The bottom line is, that the flow of precious metals is strained at the moment, and my personal expectation is that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.
Gold and silver prices were relatively flat this week, despite horrid job data and GDP projections in the United States, and other countries. Retail demand for the shiny stuff remains strong, however sales are beginning to be impacted by the unavailability of some best selling, smaller format products that retail investors are used to buying.
No significant change here to report. Product availability remains tight and intermittent. As soon as some inventory of best selling product becomes available, it is quickly consumed. Most suppliers are accepting pre-orders and delivering within 4-8 weeks.
Secondary suppliers of private label products have stepped in to fill the void left by the major producers, but their production capacity is limited and remains subject to the availability of gold and silver grain, or refined material, which is also back-logged.
Premiums remain very high and are creeping up daily. My only advice here is:
#1. If you are considering buying, do so sooner than later.
#2. Please contact our experienced traders for assistance in selecting the best available products.
If you're looking for a pleasant distraction this weekend, check out the latest two episodes of our YouTube video series Inside The Vault - Expert Tips on Gold and Silver.
Top 10 Countdown - The Best Gold and Silver Products to Own
Gold and Silver Market Fundamentals with Senior Analyst Jeff Clark
Enjoy and be safe.