(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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