Silver heads for biggest deficit in decades, Silver Institute says


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LONDON — Global demand for silver is

expected to rise 16% this year to 1.21 billion ounces, creating

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the biggest deficit in decades, according to the Silver

Institute on Thursday night.

Use of silver by industry, for jewelry and silverware and

for bars and coins for retail investors were all forecast to

reach record levels, the institute said.

Automakers are using more silver as the amount of

electronics in vehicles increases, but the sector accounts for

only around 5% of total demand. Solar panels account for around

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10% of silver demand.

Demand in India almost doubled in 2022 as buyers took

advantage of low prices to replenish stockpiles drawn down in

2020 and 2021.

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) storing silver for

investors shrank, however, returning metal to the market, but

the Silver Institute does not count ETFs as physical demand

because they only store wholesale silver bars and do not rework


The Silver Institute predicted a deficit of 194 million

ounces this year, up from 48 million ounces in 2021.

Demand is likely to fall next year, said Philip Newman at

consultants Metals Focus, which prepared the Silver Institute’s


“India’s restocking is likely to trip over into 2023 but at

some point will dissipate,” he said. “By extension, you could

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see some decent figures in 2023 but it may not match 2022.”

Newman said he expected strong demand from industries such

as solar panel and auto makers and more silver supply deficits

in the coming years, but not as large as in 2022.

The amount of silver stored in vaults in London and New York

monitored by the COMEX exchange and the London Bullion Market

Association has fallen by around 370 million ounces – or 25% —

this year.

But Newman said there was plenty of silver left. “You do

have still sizeable stocks,” he said. “I don’t think that’s a


Silver prices have fallen around 10% this year to $21

an ounce, mostly due to financial investors selling silver in

response to rising U.S. bond yields and a strengthening dollar.

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Following are numbers for 2022 and comparisons.


2021 2022F % change


Mine Production 821 830 1%

Recycling 176 185 5%

Net Official Sector sales 2 2 0%

TOTAL SUPPLY 998 1,017 2%


Industrial 511 539 5%

Photography 29 28 -3%

Jewellery 182 235 29%

Silverware 43 73 70%

Net Physical investment 278 329 18%

Net Hedging Demand 4 5 25%

TOTAL DEMAND 1,046 1,210 16%

MARKET BALANCE -48 -194 304%

Exchange traded products 65 -110

BALANCE LESS ETPs -113 -84 -26%

Average price $/oz 25.14 21 -16%

*Source: The Silver Institute, Metals Focus

(Reporting by Peter Hobson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)



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