NEW YORK CITY – The Silver Institute has released a report saying global silver demand rose 4% – to 1.03 billion oz. – in 2018. This is the first time since 2015 that demand has risen year-over-year.
Three factors were at play: demand growth, robust retail investment, and falling supply.
On the demand side, sales of silver bar and coins rose by 20%, the largest driver was silver bar demand, which jumped 53%. Silver jewelry demand moved up 4%, to 212.5 million oz. Demand for industrial silver fell 1% to 578.6 million oz., due to a 9% drop in silver used in photovoltaic.
Silver supply fell by 2% last year, the third consecutive annual decline to 855.7 million oz. The largest downturn was experienced by primary silver mines, which decreased by 7% to contribute 26% of total mine supply. The zinc-lead sector contributed 38% of by-product silver, followed by copper at 23% and gold at 12%.
The price of silver also declined by 7.8% to average US$15.71 in 2018. Negative factors affecting the price last year included a rising U.S. dollar, interest rate hikes, the trade dispute between the United States and China, and lower global economic growth projections.
Details are available in the Institute’s World Silver Survey 2019 at www.SilverInstitute.org.