Global demand for silver is expected to rise 16% this year to 1.21 billion ounces, creating the biggest deficit in decades.
The US-based Silver Institute states that the use of silver by industry for jewelry and silverware, and for bars and coins for retail investors are all forecast to reach record levels. As demand grows, a deficit of 194 million ounces – up from 48 million ounces in 2021 – is predicted this year.
Why it matters
Silver is used in many industries including electronics in vehicles and, perhaps more importantly, in solar panel production.
“The expected shortage of silver is probably due to a rush of silver purchases by professional investors and individuals, caused by high inflation in a number of countries in Europe and Asia. Especially noticeable is the surge in silver purchases in India, one of its key consumers: the demand for silver in the country rose by at least 1.5x compared to 2021.
Silver ore production also contributed to the deficit: it fell sharply in Peru and China, but the drop was offset by increased production in Chile and Mexico.
In 2023, we can predict a further expansion of the silver shortage due to concerns from professional and private investors about the prospects for the global economy: if stagnation continues amid the sanctions pressure on Russia, interest in silver as a savings tool will increase” – Expert comment by Leonid Khazanov / Consultant – Metals and technologies.