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UPDATE 1-Perth Mint's Sept gold sales dip; silver hits 5-month high

 (Updates with comments, background, graphic)
    Oct 1 (Reuters) - The Perth Mint's sales of gold products in
September fell for the first time in three months, the refiner
said on Thursday, while silver sales were highest since April as
a drop in prices perked up demand.
    Sales of gold coins and minted bars were down 7.2% month on
month to 62,637 ounces last month, the mint said in a blog post.
    "The drop in gold price during September may have left
stockists perhaps waiting for further falls before re-ordering,"
said Cameron Alexander, an analyst at Refinitiv-owned metals
consultancy GFMS.
    Despite a slight decline in gold sales last month, demand on
a yearly basis is very strong, reflecting the safe-haven buying,
Alexander added.
    Total gold sold by the mint in September as coins and minted
bars was 33.7% higher versus a year earlier.             
    Benchmark gold price        registered its biggest monthly
decline in nearly four years in September, weighed down by a
rebound in dollar, but posted an eighth straight quarterly gain.
      
    Driven by investor appetite for safe-haven assets as the
coronavirus pandemic upended economic activity, gold prices have
gained over 24% so far this year.
    
    
    Meanwhile, silver sales rose to their highest level in five
months in September as investors took advantage of a recent drop
in prices to stock up the white metal.
    Sales of silver coins rose 17.2% month on month to 1,677,383
ounces and were up 24.2% from a year earlier. 
    Silver prices        lost nearly 18% last month, its biggest
monthly decline since September 2011.
    The Perth Mint, owned by the government of Western
Australia, refines more than 90% of the newly mined gold in
Australia, one of the world's top gold producers.
    "We have an expansive network of international distributors
for these coins who have ordered strongly again, especially in
the United States and Germany," the mint posted on its website.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Additional reporting
by Swati Verma; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)
  
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