UPDATE 1-Perth Mint's gold sales rise on safe-haven demand

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Aug 6 (Reuters) - The Perth Mint’s sales of gold products jumped more than 26% in July from a month earlier, the refiner said on Thursday, tracking a rise in global bullion prices as the coronavirus pandemic drove safe-haven demand.

Sales of gold coins and minted bars last month rose to 56,104 ounces, from 44,371 in June. The July numbers were about 160% higher than the same period last year.

Benchmark gold prices rose 10.9% in July, while silver soared 34.4% as investors sought a hedge against the economic fallout of the unabated COVID-19 pandemic.

“Coin demand in developed markets has been still strong, while demand in developing markets is still struggling. We believe the increased conviction of rising gold prices are propelling demand for gold coins sales, as exchange-traded fund holdings are crowded,” ANZ analyst Soni Kumari said.

Sales of silver coins in July dipped to 1,567,900 ounces from 1,573,752 ounces the month before, but were up 58.8% from last year.

“The main reason for the decline in our silver minted product sales in July is reflective of our production capacity, as we continue to fulfil as many orders as possible in response to heightened demand as the price of silver is also trending upward,” said Neil Vance, The Perth Mint Group General Manager, Minted Products.

Demand for both metals are likely to remain strong, Vance added.

The Perth Mint, owned by the government of Western Australia, refines more than 90% of newly mined gold in Australia, one of the world’s top gold producers.

Reporting by Anjishnu Mondal, Brijesh Patel and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.