Here is a summary of some of the significant economic data/news that came out last week.
Third-quarter 2019 new orders for durable goods remain on track for a second annual decline. August 2019 Real New Orders for Durable Goods showed a monthly gain of 0.2% [1.0% ex-Commercial Aircraft], but an annual decline of 4.9% [down by 2.1% (-2.1%) ex-Commercial Aircraft].
Mine output fell significantly in three of the world’s top silver-producing countries through the first half of the year.
Peru’s silver production fell 10%, mine output in Mexico fell 4%, and silver production in Chile was down 7%, according to data released by government agencies in those three countries.
The world’s largest primary silver producer reported a plunge in production in the first quarter of the year, continuing a global trend of declining silver output.
Total silver production at Fresnillo PLC dropped by 15% in Q1. The company blamed falling mine output on lower ore grades and reduced volume of processed ore.
Global gold mine output marked its 10th year of annual growth but continued to show signs of slowing in 2018, according to the World Gold Council.
Gold production rose fractionally by about 1% totaling 3,346.9 tons. That compares with 3,318.92 tons mined in 2017 — a 28-ton increase year-on-year.
Meanwhile, global gold demand grew by 4%.
Gold output in South Africa fell for the 14th straight month in November. According to Bloomberg, it ranks as the longest streak of monthly declines since 2012.
Production fell 14% from a year earlier, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said in a statement on its website last week.
South Africa once led the world in gold production. The precipitous drop in the country’s mine output over the last few years is expected to continue and could foreshadow a long-term trend of falling gold production globally.
Gold production in South Africa dropped by 19% year-on-year in September, according to a report at Fin24.
This continues a trend of monthly gold mine production drops. South African gold output fell by 15% in August and 15.5% in July.
The country once led the world in gold production. The precipitous drop in output over the last few years could signal an overall drop in global mine output.
Through the first half of 2018, gold production appears to be falling while the cost of mining the yellow metal continues to increase.
According to a report on SRSrocco, three of the world’s biggest gold mining companies all saw production fall in the first six months of the year. Barrick’s output declined the most, falling by over 20% to 2.1 million ounces in 1H 2018. Goldcorp’s production fell 10%, while Newmont’s output dropped by nearly 9%. Taken together, gold production from these three companies fell 15% year-on-year.
Global mine production fell slightly in 2017, the first drop in mine output since 2008. In fact, gold production has generally increased every year since the 1970s. The drop in 2008 was something of an anomaly, as it occurred at the onset of the 2008 financial crisis. The recent slowdown in mine production is more concerning. In fact, many people speculate we may be at or near “peak gold.”