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Shortage of 5, 10 and 20 euro cent coins in Belgium

Started by eurocoin, July 04, 2022, 08:42:02 PM

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eurocoin

#15
It is disgraceful that the Belgian government fails to take any proper measures against this shortage. Nearly 5 months later, my Belgian bank still only supplies maximum 1 roll of 5 euro cent and 1 roll of 10 euro cent per person.

eurocoin

#16
Shortage of low denominations: 'It is going to be tense during the Christmas period'

Shortages of 5, 10 and 20 euro cent coins threaten to happen during the holidays. 'Pay digitally or put your coins into circulation', say sector federations.

Although more 5, 10 and 20 euro cent coins are in circulation than ever before, they are not circulating enough. 'We have been receiving reports of shortages for a month now. There are fears of a lack of change during the Christmas period,' says Lieven Cloots of Unizo.

That is why the independent organization, together with the Febelfin banking federation and the Comeos trade federation, is calling on consumers to use digital payments as much as possible, even for small amounts. People who wish to pay cash are being asked to pay the correct amount, so that no change has to be given. They are also calling on consumers who have a lot of coins to bring them in to their bank. 'At many banks this is free for private individuals. For larger volumes there is only a small fee for counting, sorting and transport.'

Have coins become rare?

'The request should above all avoid significant shortages,' says Cloots. There are about 770 million 5 eurocent coins in circulation, 470 million of 10 cents and 600 million of 20 cents.

Every year, a part of them are lost due to carelessness or because they are being taken home by tourists. A bigger problem is that much more money has been hoarded since electronic payments experienced a major upsurge due to the corona crisis. Bancontact registered 10 percent more transactions in 2020 than in 2019. Mobile payments via smartphone happened 88 percent more.

Is cash still relevant?

Figures from the European Central Bank show that before the corona pandemic, about 60 percent of payments were made in cash. After a relapse, it is again at 50 to 55 percent.

Although more 5, 10 and 20 euro cent coins are in circulation than ever before, they are not circulating enough. 'We have been receiving reports of shortages for a month now. There are fears of a lack of change during the Christmas period,' says Lieven Cloots of Unizo. That is why the independent organization, together with the Febelfin banking federation and the Comeos trade federation, is calling on consumers to use digital payments as much as possible, even for small amounts. If people prefer to pay cash, they are being advised to pay the correct amount, so that no change has to be given. The organisation is also calling on people who have a lot of coins to bring them in to their bank. 'At many banks this is free for private individuals. For larger volumes there is only a small cost price for counting, sorting and transport.'

Why are no new coins being minted?

Due to a lack of raw materials, it is not easy to mint coins. This is especially true for the 10 and 20 cents, which consist of 90 percent copper.

The Royal Dutch Mint, which has been responsible for Belgian minting since 2018, is struggling with long delivery times because copper smelters can barely keep up with orders. 'Normally delivery times for rolls of copper are six to eight weeks, now it is six to eight months,' say experts. 'Then the rolls still have to be made into plates from which the coins are minted.' Not only have imports from Russia fallen, the demand for renewable energy and electric vehicles is also driving copper consumption. Aurubis, Europe's largest copper smelter, recently stated that it will charge its European customers a hefty premium due to strong demand, low inventories and high energy and transportation costs.

Source: De Tijd

bart

QuoteDue to a lack of raw materials, it is not easy to mint coins. This is especially true for the 10 and 20 cents, which consist of 90 percent copper.

Perhaps it is time to change the alloy to materials which are more or easier available.

chrisild

All euro and cent coins contain copper. Sure, with the reddish pieces it is only 5.6% or so while the mid-range pieces have 89%. But in the bimetallic coins there is some copper as well; ring 75%, pill less ...

Besides, any change would require an EU-wide (well, euro area wide) agreement. And the vending industry will probably want to say something about that too.

eurocoin

#19
According to the Belgian newspaper Sudinfo, Belgium is now also a rapidly nearing a shortage of the 50 euro cent denomination.

At this rate Belgium will soon be cashless, as they are also having shortages of low-denomination banknotes.

For the first time in over a decade, at the end of last year my Belgian bank was unable to supply my coin order in full. They claimed they were receiving fewer deliveries. The bank also still has a nationwide policy to supply maximum 1 roll of 5 cent and 1 roll of 10 cent per order.

eurocoin

Belgium will exchange a significant part of its stock of 1 and 2 euro cent coins, for a total of 900.000 50 euro cent coins of Portugal. This swap between Belgium and Portugal will take place at the end of this month.