All kinds of factors impact the price of precious metals, but supply and demand are the most fundamental. With that in mind, the stage seems to be set for silver to have a strong year in 2018.
According to the Silver Institute 2018 Market Trends report, the silver market faces growing demand and shrinking supply in 2018.
We write a lot about India because people in the country love gold. Even the poor buy gold in India. Indians value gold as a store of wealth, especially in poor rural regions. Two-thirds of India’s gold demand comes from these areas, where the vast majority of people live outside the official tax system. Gold is one of the engines that make the Indian economy run.
India gets a lot of attention because it ranks as the world’s second-largest gold consumer, but it isn’t the only country with an affinity for the yellow metal. Gold has played a vital role in the history and economy of Vietnam, and still serves as an economic lifeline for the Vietnamese people today.
There are signs that December was a strong month for global gold demand.
Lost in the shadow of gold and cryptocurrency, silver quietly gained over 6% in 2017. Even so, the white metal was considered an underperformer. Gold was up better than 12% on the year. But with silver languishing a bit behind gold, there are strong indications that 2018 could prove to be a big year for the white metal.
In fact, according to an article in the Business Standard, mainstream investors have started betting big on silver in anticipation of a big price upswing in 2018.
Gold imports into India surged in 2017 as demand rebounded.
According to GFMS, imports of the yellow metal into India increased 67% as jewelers replenished inventory and retail demand rebounded.
Earlier this month, World Gold Council chief market strategist John Reade said he expects gold to shine in 2018, and one of the primary reasons will be rising income growth in China and India.
A report recently published by the Centre for Economics and Business Research lends support to Reade’s prediction. According to the 2018 World Economic League Table, India will leapfrog France and England in 2018 to become the world’s fifth largest economy in dollar terms. The report also predicted that China will overtake the US as the world’s biggest economy in 2032.
If you saw the headlines last week, you know overall global gold demand fell steeply in the third quarter of this year. But as we reported, there was a lot of good news for gold buried beneath the gloomy headlines.
Slumping Q3 gold demand in India was a big driver in the overall global decline, but even there, we see some signs of optimism. Indian gold-buying dropped off primarily due to new taxes and regulations imposed by the Indian government over the summer. There are already signs the market is adjusting
Indians are buying silver and this could have a major impact on the world market for the white metal.
The Silver Institute covers this story, and highlights several other technological innovations involving silver, in its latest issue of Silver News. It also features an interview with ICE Benchmark Administration COO Matthew Glenville. His company recently began administering the silver benchmark and operating the auction underlying the London Bullion Market Association Silver Price.