(Adds details on world mint sales, context in paragraphs 4-7)
By Frank Tang
NEW YORK, Nov 5 (Reuters) - The U.S. Mint said on Wednesday it has temporarily sold out of its American Eagle silver bullion coins following “tremendous” demand in the past several weeks.
In a statement sent to its biggest U.S. coin wholesalers, the U.S. Mint says it will continue to produce 2014-dated coins. The Mint will advise when additional inventory will become available for sale without providing further details.
The announcement has not been made available to the public, but a U.S. Mint spokesman confirmed that it has sent the statement to its authorized participants.
In June, the U.S. Mint lifted its ration on Silver Eagle coins, which had been in place since January 2013 as unprecedented demand depleted silver coin blanks.
Sharp breaks in gold and silver prices to their lowest in more than four years have unleashed a surge in demand for investment coins and small bars by retail investors around the world, with buyers in Germany queueing out the door and some U.S. investors returning to the market for the first time in years.
Retailers and distributors in Asia and the United States are struggling to get supplies of items such as Canadian Maple Leaf silver coins made by the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM), Reuters reported earlier on Wednesday.
The RCM has started rationing its Silver Maple Leaf coin sales to its global distributors in response to high demand in September when gold prices fell to a near 2014 low, it said. (With additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore and Jan Harvey in London; Editing by Nick Zieminski)