Silver Jewelry Sales Strong, Reflecting Broader Demand for the White Metal
The market for silver jewelry grew in 2015, mirroring an overall surge in demand for the white metal, according to a survey report released yesterday by the Silver Institute:
Silver jewelry sales in the United States were solid in 2015 with 60% of jewelry retailers reporting increased sales, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the Silver Institute’s Silver Promotion Service (SPS). This marked the seventh consecutive year of growth for silver jewelry sales and confirmed that silver jewelry is an increasingly important category for many retailers.”
On average, retailers reported a 15% increase in silver jewelry sales in 2015, with some seeing sales growth climbing more than 25%.
Retailers expressed optimism that the growth in demand for silver jewelry reflects a long-term trend, with 87% saying they expect the silver boom to continue for the next several years.
The increase in silver jewelry sales comes as no surprise considering the strong overall demand for the while metal. Demand for American Silver Eagles remains strong after setting a sales record in 2015. The US Mint sold more than 4.1 million Silver Eagles last month, compared with 3.5 million in March 2015. Meanwhile, February silver sales at Perth Mint jumped 167.54% from the same period a year ago. It was the sixth straight month of silver sales over 1 million ounces for the Australian mint.
Surging demand for silver comes at a time when supply is shrinking. In what would represent the first reduction in global silver mine production since 2002, mining output is projected to fall by as much as 5% year-on-year in 2016, according to the Silver Institute. Scrap supply is also expected to shrink in 2016. It has been on the decline for the last several years. Overall, the silver market deficit is expected to widen in 2016 due to increased demand and shrinking supply.
Silver has been in gold’s shadow since the beginning of the year. The price of gold has increased nearly 15%, while silver has lagged, rising less than 9% in the same period. But considering the current supply and demand dynamics, it seems likely silver is poised to come out of gold’s shadow.
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