Gold sales from Australia’s Perth Mint, which operates the nation’s only precious-metals refinery, fell 17 percent last year, when bullion averaged the most ever.
The mint sold 529,558 ounces of gold coins and bars last year, compared with 638,053 ounces in 2011, it said today by e- mail. Sales were 67,507 ounces in January this year and 33,138 ounces last month, according to the mint, which traces its history to the founding of a branch of the U.K.’s Royal Mint in 1899.
Gold averaged a record $1,669 an ounce in 2012 as the metal rallied for a 12th straight year, the best run in at least nine decades. Prices slid for the past five months, the longest monthly losing streak since 1997, and investors are selling holdings through gold-backed exchange-traded products on mounting confidence that the global economy is strengthening. The International Monetary Fund predicts world expansion will climb to 3.5 percent this year from 3.2 percent in 2012.
Gold for immediate delivery traded at $1,574.95 an ounce by 10:21 a.m. in London and is down 6 percent this year. The U.S. Mint sold 753,000 ounces of American Eagle gold coins last year, 25 percent less than in 2011, data on its website show.
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