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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Silver Demand at Near-Record Levels and Other Silver News

(Mike Maharrey, Money Metals News Service) Silver demand is expected to hit 1.2 billion ounces this year. That would rank as the second-highest annual silver demand on record.

Record industrial demand for silver is expected to drive overall silver offtake this year, according to an article in the latest edition of the Silver Institute’s Silver News.

Worldwide silver demand is expected to rise 1 percent owing to a projected record high in industrial demand and a turnaround in jewelry and silverware offtake. 

According to the Silver Institute, industrial demand is expected to rise by 4 percent to a record 690 million ounces in 2024. Photovoltaics (PV) and automotive industries will serve as the key drivers. Specifically, new, higher-efficiency N-type solar cells being phased in require more silver than older solar panel technology. 

India is projected to drive silver jewelry demand higher, driving global demand in the sector up by 6 percent to record levels.

The Silver Institute projects a structural market deficit of 176 million ounces. That would be the fourth consecutive year of demand outstripping supply, cutting further into global silver reserves.

Silver appears to be significantly underpriced given the supply and demand dynamics.

This was just one of several interesting stories reported in the latest edition of Silver News.

Here are some of the highlights…

  • Top silver stakeholders from the U.S. and Canada have asked Canada’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson that silver be placed on the list of critical minerals. “The latter half of the 20th  century saw a decline in silver mining activities due to economic factors and declining ore grades, while the demand for silver is rising – there was a 237.7-million-ounce silver deficit in 2022, and the deficit will continue unless additional production opportunities are identified.” The stakeholders outlined that silver should be included in the critical minerals list because it meets several criteria. 
  • A rare silver coin suspected of being 2,500 years old, albeit broken on purpose, was found near Jerusalem which archeologists say shows a time when currency was moving from silver pieces to actual coins. The coins were broken in half when traders needed a lower-value coin. 
  • Meanwhile, 29 rare silver coins were recently unearthed about 60 miles southwest of Athens. They were thought to be minted around the sixth and fourth centuries BCE. Some of the coins (called ‘staters’) were minted in Olympia during the Olympic games and were meant to spread the word about the contests. 
  • While cloud seeding with silver-iodide crystals is growing in popularity to induce rain to parched areas, some South Asian countries are using it to help mitigate air pollution. The goal is simple: force rain to fall and the drops will latch onto air pollution particles and wash them to the ground. 
  • Although air filters are some of the best ways to protect people from dangerous pathogens in their house or office air, these filters can also spread airborne bacterial and viral infections when germs cling to filter material. Researchers in Spain have tested various silver, copper, and zinc oxide sprays and found that all of them helped kill germs to varying degrees with the silver oxide spray, “demonstrating a complete prevention of targeted bacterial growth throughout the 24-hour incubation period measured by the study.”

Mike Maharrey is a journalist and market analyst for MoneyMetals.com with over a decade of experience in precious metals. He holds a BS in accounting from the University of Kentucky and a BA in journalism from the University of South Florida.

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