London — Global silver demand totaled a record 36,407 mt in 2015, up 3.4% from 35,206 mt in 2014, the Silver Institute said Thursday.
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Total supply declined 1.2% to 3,276 mt in 2015, resulting in a third consecutive annual physical deficit of 4,040 mt, up 65% from a 2,445 mt deficit a year earlier.
Although mine production was higher on the year, up 2.1% to 27,579 mt in 2015, it was not enough to offset a 13.2% decline in scrap supply to 4,544 mt.
Silver jewelry fabrication increased for the third consecutive year, up 1.1% on a year earlier to a new high of 7,045 mt, due to growth in India, Thailand and North America.
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Industrial fabrication, which accounts for over half of total silver demand, was down 3.7% to 18,311 mt, "largely due to weaker fabrication demand in developing countries and a stagnant global economy," the SI said.
Demand for coins and bars was up 24% to 9,092 mt, while silverware was 3.6% higher at 1,956 mt.
Draw-downs in silver-backed exchange-traded products totaled 550.5 mt in 2015, while exchange inventory gained 9.3 mt.
This took the total net balance of the silver market to a deficit of 3,499 mt, up from a 2,717.7 mt deficit in 2014, according to the SI.
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