Silver demand, especially for investment purposes continued northern journey and climbed up 20% in the first ten weeks of this year. According to the recently issued World Silver Survey by GFMS, global mining production (supply) for silver only saw a 1.4% increase throughout 2011, although industrial demand and investor support continued to be strong. This news among other investment reasons, justifies the potential for higher silver prices in the near future; as total demand and industrial usage rises, amid constrained supply and production.
According to the Silver Institute, investors are increasingly acquiring Silver in many forms. Globally, Silver-based exchange-traded-funds (ETFs) account for 586 million ounces of Silver, up from 576 million ounces at the end of 2011. Silver outperformed platinum, palladium and gold during the period as global Silver industrial demand also continues to improve after a record in 2011. According to The Future of Silver Industrial Demand, a report commissioned by the Silver Institute and released last March, Silver industrial demand is forecast to grow by 36% from 2010 through 2015.
China continues to play a significant role in Silver’s demand outlook. China said its net imports of silver nearly quadrupled to more than 3,500 metric tons in 2010, boosted by sharp increases in demand by the industrial sector and the jewelry industry. Silver stocks have been relatively flat over the last month after the Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) surged more than 13% between January and Mid-February. Silver stocks have stagnated since China’s factory output, retail sales and investment data all slowed in February while its inflation rate dropped to a twenty month low.