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Issue Date: Vol. 50, No. 2, February 2010, Posted On: 1/30/2010

U.S. Coin Shipments, Beer Sales Both Fell Sharply In 2009

Marcus Webb
coin machine, coin-op, amusement operator, vending operator, vending, vending machine, vending industry, jukebox, pinball machine, pool table

WASHINGTON -- The number of brand-new quarters supplied to American banks by the U.S. Mint fell 61.55% from 2008 levels. The number of brand-new coins of all types shipped by the Mint -- pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and $1 dollar pieces -- dropped 48% last year.

These figures were among those issued by the Mint, indicating that the severity of America's economic recession has caused the U.S. Federal Reserve System to experience a sharply lower need to replenish inventory and fulfill commercial demand for coins in 2009.

Shipments of new quarters fell from 2.5 billion in 2008 to just 965 million in 2009. Deliveries of new dollar coins fell 3.37% from 475 million in 2008 to 459 million in 2009. Total shipments of coins from the Mint to the Federal Reserve were 5.2 billion coins for calendar 2009 (which is fiscal year 2010), compared with 10 billion units the year prior.

A separate statistical report also reflects the deep recession and its impact on the coin machine industry. The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. beer sales volumes declined in 2009 by the highest rate seen in over half a century. Beer sales dropped 2.2%, the sharpest one-year drop since the 1950s. Figures represent both take-home sales and on- premise consumption.

The paper said demand was especially soft in the final few months of 2009. Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and MillerCoors LLC are the leading U.S. breweries, following mergers for both companies. Beer prices from the two leading suppliers rose about 5% last year, contributing to weak sales.

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