Gold sales from the Perth Mint in Australia shot up 41 percent in 2013, as gold bullion experienced its worst annual loss in more than 30 years, reported Bloomberg.
The Perth Mint refines most of the gold bullion from the second-biggest gold producer. Its 2013 sales of gold coins and minted gold bullion bars reached a total of 754,635 ounces in 2013, up from 533,333 ounces one year earlier. Meanwhile, silver coin sales surged 33 percent from 6.5 million ounces in 2012 to 8.6 million in 2013.
Last year, gold experienced its first annual drop of the 21st Century, falling 28 percent. Analysts cited an improving U.S. economy as the reason behind the drop in price, as equities rallied and the U.S. Federal Reserve finally began to dial back its monthly $85 billion bond buyback program.
However, sales of gold bullion have increased, as many individual investors have rushed to buy up physical gold at reduced prices. It appears that the trend of increasing purchases may be continuing.
Data from the Perth Mint revealed that gold bullion sales expanded by 12 percent to 58,944 ounces in December, from 52,700 the previous month and 51,788 in December 2012.
“Silver coin sales were 845,941 ounces last month from 807,246 in November and 452,389 a year earlier, it said. The metal tumbled 36 percent last year, the most since 1981,” wrote Bloomberg’s Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne, Australia.
Demand for physical gold, and particularly certified rare gold coins, which frequently hold their value differently than gold bullion, continued to rise at the end of 2013.
In the U.S., the U.S. Mint reported that it sold 14 percent more American Eagle gold coins in 2013 over 2012. Its sales climbed 17 percent to 56,000 ounces in December.