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Silver demand up 3.4% in 2015 to 36,407 mt, highest on record

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Silver demand up 3.4% in 2015 to 36,407 mt, highest on record

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.

Article Continues below...

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.

--George King Cassell, george.king.cassell@spglobal.com
--Edited by Jonathan Loades-Carter, jonathan.carter@spglobal.com