With silver slammed back under $15 yet again Monday, the retail silver shortage, now in its 3rd month, continues to worsen.
As SilverDoctors readers are well aware, the Royal Canadian Mint and the US Mint have been having the biggest difficulties keeping up with the unprecedented physical demand for silver- so much so that Fund Manager Dave Kranzler speculated this week as to whether the US Mint is intentionally diverting physical silver from the retail market in order to satisfy massive physical demand from China and India.
Essentially all RCM products have been NO OFFER at all of the wholesaler/ distributors for nearly a month now.
The production issues at the Royal Canadian Mint have apparently become so severe that the Royal Canadian Mint has reportedly just contracted the Sunshine Mint to produce its 10 oz RCM silver bars, citing a “major mechanical production issue“.
This while according to Sunshine Minting’s CEO Tom Power, Sunshine is already running 24/7 at full capacity and cranking out an estimated 75 million oz in 2015- 3x the output during the famous shortage of 2008!
Sunshine has already essentially sold forward its entire estimated production for the remainder of 2015, and is currently not accepting ANY new orders!
As we discussed in this weekend’s Metals and Markets with James Turk, the world’s largest physical silver wholesaler and distributor, advised late last week that it was down to offering only 3 inventory items: 2015 Silver Eagles Delayed until Dec 2nd, and offered at $5 over spot in bulk!, 100 oz Asahi bars delayed until Nov 16th, and 2015 Silver Philharmonics, delayed until October 12th!
The 3rd largest US wholesaler/distributor has now stopped taking orders for Silver Eagles altogether, as the Authorized Distributors have now essentially sold forward their expected weekly allocations through early-mid December, at which point the US Mint may well call it a year and shut down production and sales altogether!
As the next 2 month’s estimated production of Silver Eagles has essentially already been spoken for, Eagles may likely become nearly impossible to obtain from early December until late January/early February when the US Mint begins shipping 2016 Silver Eagles.
Current availability and premiums at SDBullion:
2015 Silver Eagles: 17 Monster Boxes Available $4.65 over spot
2015 Silver Eagles Delayed: 25 Monster Boxes Available $4.49 over spot
Bombay Hook Silver ATB: Only 5 Monster Boxes Left- pre-sale expected to ship by 10/9
2015 Silver Maples: 10 Monster Boxes Available $3.65 over spot
2015 RCM Great Horned Owl: Out of Stock- Next Allocation expected 10/17
2016 Australian Kangaroo: 21 Monster Boxes Available $2.49 Over spot
100 oz Silver RCM Bar: .99 Over Spot- 2-3 week delay
100 oz Silver OPM Bar: .84 Over Spot – 2 week delay
10 oz Silver RCM Bar: Unknown Production Delay at Royal Canadian Mint
10 oz Silver Sunshine Bar: $1.39 Over spot – Less than 200 bars remaining
10 oz Silver NTR Bar: .99 over spot, 3-4 week delay
1 oz Sunshine Walking Liberty Silver Rounds: Out of Stock – Next allocation expected in Tuesday 10/6
1 oz Silver OPM Rounds: $1.19 Over Spot, 4 week delay
1 oz Silver Incuse Indian Rounds: $.99 Over Spot, 4 week delay
Silver Shield Collection: Numerous BU Products Live in Limited Quantities
90% Silver: Out of Stock- Limited Inventory Expected in ~ 2 weeks
Silver Britannia: Limited Supplies Remain- Royal Mint Has Shut Down Production for 2015
Silver Libertads: Limited Supplies Remain- Banco De Mexico Has Shut Down Production for 2015
Silver Pandas: Limited Supplies Remain- Chinese Mint Has Shut Down Production for 2015
New Zealand Mint Great White Shark: $2.99 Over spot, Limited Supplies Remain
The Doc recently held a private conversation with the VP of one of the top 3 US precious metals wholesalers, and he advised that the current investment silver shortage is unlike anything he has EVER witnessed in 30 years of experience in the physical precious metals markets.
If the U.S. and world suffer ANY significant market crash or Black Swan event in the next several months, (or any further silver weakness below $14/oz), expect the current retail silver shortage and premiums to SURPASS what the market experienced in 2008-2009 when premiums soared to 50-100% on many physical silver investment products.