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Silver supply and demand update for 2010 [ClearOnMoney]
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Commentary

Silver supply and demand update for 2010

14 Apr 2011 by Jim Fickett.

Each year after GFMS, the UK consultancy, releases its World Silver Survey, the Silver Institute provides an overview of supply and demand. Here are some of the key trends in graphical form:

Note that industrial demand has regained its pre-crisis levels, while mine supply has exceeded pre-crisis levels. I.e. despite some excited talk about rapidly increasing demand, supply is ample. As in 2009, what is driving the price is investment demand – see the red line.

A technical note – the size of the whole market is up significantly in 2010. This is due to an oddity of precious metals market accounting, where scrap and other disgorgement is treated as supply. So if some old silverware is melted down and turned into new silverware (or anything else), it adds to both supply and demand. The three big additions in this vein were net government sales (up 29 million ounces in 2010), scrap (up 27 million ounces), and producer hedging (where producers sell future production at current prices; up 83 million ounces).