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Silver News: 2021 Silver Demand Explosion and Technical Innovations

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Total global silver demand reached its highest level since 2015 last year, surging 19% to 1.05 billion ounces (Boz). There were increases in every key silver demand category. It was the first time since 1997 that all key sectors rose together.

This is one of several silver-related stories in the latest edition of Silver News published by the Silver Institute.

Silver demand for industrial applications rose 9% to 508.2 million ounces (Moz) last year, despite logistical challenges relating to COVID-19. Aiding this demand was strong consumer electronics sales from people continuing to work at home, 5G infrastructure investment, inventory-build along the supply pipeline, and rising silver consumption in the green economy, mainly for solar power applications.

Silver investors pushed demand for the white metal higher as well, with sales of silver coins and silver bars jumping by 36% to 278.7 Moz last year, the highest level since 2015.

The outlook for silver demand in 2022 remains positive, according to the report. Analysts project a 5% rise in global silver demand this year, mainly due to increased industrial fabrication

The latest edition of Silver News also highlights some other fascinating technological advances utilizing the white metal, along with some developments in the silver market. Here are some highlights.

  • Silicon is the largest component in most solar cells, but this may change based on work conducted by European researchers who have made photovoltaic cells with only two components: silver and bismuth.
  • Interest in silver antimicrobial coatings is rising rapidly as healthcare specialists and others seek more efficient and effective ways to tackle the spread of disease.
  • In an effort to mitigate the effects of global climate change, engineers are looking for more efficient ways to capture and use carbon dioxide – a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion. Silver is part of a three-metal catalyst along with gold and copper that engineers think can help reduce greenhouse gases.
  • While nanosilver ink printing can be quite precise, Austin, Texas-based Electroninks has announced a particle-free, aerosol jet printing product that company officials say offers even finer resolution lines and room-temperature curing without sacrificing silver’s high electrical conductivity properties.

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