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New Report: Silver Demand Set Record In 2015; Supply Shrinking

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Silver demand hit a record high in 2015 and it shows no sign of waning.

GFMS, in collaboration with the Silver Institute, released its annual silver survey last week. Coin, bar, jewelry, and photovoltaic sectors boosted silver sales to a record 1.17 billion ounces.

High demand coupled with shrinking supply resulted in the third consecutive annual silver deficit. The gap between silver supply and demand was 60% larger than 2014. According to the report, mine production growth slowed to 2% last year. Scrap sales were also weak.

silver-coin-bar-demand

Investment buying was a major factor in the overall boost in silver demand. World demand for silver bars and coins increased more than 56 million ounces last year to 292.3 million ounces. If the first part of 2016 is any indication, the appetite for silver coins has not slowed any. The sale of American Silver Eagles continued at a torrid pace through the first months of the year.

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Silver jewelry fabrication increased for the third consecutive year, rising to 226.5 million ounces.  A 16% rise from both India and Thailand, drove the increase in silver jewelry demand, while North America posted a 5% annual increase.

Silver demand for photovoltaic applications jumped 23% in 2015 to 77.6 million ounces. It was the second consecutive year of increases in this sector. Solar panel production in China was a major driver.

GFMS experts aren’t the only ones bullish on silver. Bank of America Merrill Lynch said last month that silver’s fundamentals look the strongest in years thanks to declining mine output and increasing demand.

Silver went on a bull run in April, cracking $17 per ounce for the first time in nearly a year. It has held above that level amid positive signs for continuing Chinese industrial demand and decreasing bets the Federal Reserve will raise US interest rates.”

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