In further evidence of the global surge in demand for investment gold, Australia’s Perth Mint has reported huge increases in sales numbers for April.
Australian mints are amongst a fortunate few that have continued gold and silver production throughout the current global coronavirus crisis. The nation has suffered far fewer cases than those reported in the United States, Britain and parts of Europe. It has mercifully recorded only 7,000 cases and 97 deaths since the coronavirus outbreak, after introducing strict measures earlier than many other countries.
Neil Vance, Perth Mint’s General Manager of Minted Products, told the Canberra Times "We've managed to remain open the whole time". He went on to explain, "that's due to very stringent measures we've taken to keep our people safe. We're able to stay open and supply investors around the world."
Demand for safe haven investments has seen sales of Perth Mint’s popular gold and silver coins rocket. The Mint saw its bullion product sales increase by over 500% in April 2020 versus April 2019. They sold over 120,000 ounces of gold bars and coins, worth A$340,000,000 - roughly £182,000,000 worth of gold bullion. Sales of silver bars and coins were also up by 134% year-on-year for April.
Perth Mint’s 2020 Kangaroo and Year of the Mouse gold coins.
The Royal Australian Mint, which produces all of Australia's circulating currency, has also remained in production throughout the pandemic. It too has seen a huge growth in its sales of bullion and collectable coins, up by 30% - 40% despite these only being a small side-part of its main business.
Like every other nation, Covid-19 has decimated the Australian economy, with the Royal Bank of Australia forecasting a contraction nearing 10% in the first half of 2020. Australia’s situation is worsened by poor trade relations with its powerful neighbour, China. This is despite a denial on Tuesday by Agriculture Minister, David Littleproud, of a trade war between the two nations.
Australia's exports of natural resources have fallen with global industrial demand, but gold mines have bucked this trend. Its general mining index, reported by Reuters on May 14th, fell, whereas gold advanced by 1.5%.
Australians will be looking to gold mining, refining and minting to ease the nation's economic suffering through this worldwide crisis. As the world’s second largest producer of mined gold, the country will enjoy the increased demand for gold bullion expected in the coming years, in both exporting raw material, and refined products from the Perth Mint.