Silver supply/demand historical and current

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silverwood's picture
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Any good Elliot wave chartist here?

Looking at the chart I posted in #261 (As we exit 2016 $Silver still in a bear market for silver) I had this thought...the 1980 peak in silver was followed by a bear market that lasted until the final low of $3.51 in 1991. A new bull started here, Wave 1 and ended at $7.40 in 1998( the Warren Buffet peak). Then corrective wave 2 ended at $4.01 in late 2001. Then wave 3 ended at $49.82 in April of 2011. Then corrective wave 4 ended at $13.62 in December 2015. We are now in wave 5. I know there are measuring tools with Elliot wave to guestimate where wave 5 will go to but if it is about equal to wave 3 then we could see silver at $130 to $150. 

argentus maximus
argentus maximus's picture
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Wave 5 =equality to wave

Wave 5 =

equality to wave 1

wave 1 x 1.618

not exceeding wave 3

five completed sub waves

when wave 5 contains an extended wave 1st 3rd or 5th that makes a total count of nine for the total wave five

volume and momentum divergence against a higher high at wave three top, can help to locate the top of wave 5 whereby volume and momentum make a new but lower high

and a failed wave five (no new high over the third wave top) might top at 0.618 x wave 1 (but have a fully complete internal count)


argentus maximus
Rhythm 'n Price
This analysis - global markets

silverwood's picture
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Silver is The Goldilocks of Metals

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Global Silver Mine Production Drops in 2016 for First Time in 14

Silver’s Use in Solar Sector Surged 34 Percent, Posts New Record

(New York City – May 11, 2017) Global silver mine production in 2016 recorded its first decline since 2002, largely the result of lower by-product output from the lead/zinc and gold sectors.  Coupled with less silver scrap supply to the market, which posted its lowest level since 1996, as well as a contraction in producer hedging, total silver supply decreased by 32.6 million ounces (Moz) in 2016.  Moreover, new highs were recorded for silver’s use in the photovoltaic and ethylene oxide sectors, both growing and significant industrial applications for silver.  These findings, and other key components of the silver market, are discussed in World Silver Survey 2017, released today by the Silver Institute and produced on its behalf by the GFMS Team at Thomson Reuters (GFMS).

Silver Supply

Global silver mine production declined by 0.6 percent in 2016 to a total of 885.8 Moz.  A large proportion of the drop was attributable to the lead/zinc and gold sectors, where production dipped by a combined 15.9 Moz.  On a regional basis, Mexico registered the largest drop in production last year, followed by Australia and Argentina, yet those losses were partially offset by gains in Central and South America and Asia.  Even so, Mexico was again the world’s largest silver producing country, followed by Peru, China, Chile and Russia.

Primary silver mine production grew by 1 percent to realize 30 percent of total silver mine output last year. Lead/zinc mines contributed 35 percent of 2016 by-product output, followed by copper mines at 23 percent and gold mining at 12 percent.

Silver scrap supply fell to 139.7 Moz in 2016, a level not seen since 1996, despite higher silver prices.  The contraction was largely driven by lower Asian flows, due in part to lower industrial fabrication volumes.  Scrap supply from the industrialized world was also muted, as partial jumps in flows from the United Kingdom and Europe in general, offset falls in North America and Japan.

In other areas of silver supply, GFMS reports that again government sales of silver were essentially non-existent last year, while in 2016, delta-adjusted silver hedging by producers contracted by 18.4 Moz.

World Silver Supply and Demand (million ounces)
(totals may not add due to rounding)


                                                2015                               2016 

Mine Production                890.8                             885.8

Net Government Sales––

Scrap                                    141.11                               39.7 

Net Hedging Supply          7.8-18.4

Total Supply                       1,039.7                             1,007.1


                                              2015                                 2016

Jewelry                               228.3                                207.0

Coins & Bars                     290.7                                206.8

Silverware                           62.9                                    52.1

Industrial Fabrication    569.6                                    561.9

…of which

Electrical & Electronics  245.9                                   233.6  

Brazing Alloys & Solders  61.5                                      55.4

Photography                     46.6                                      45.2

Photovoltaic                       57.2                                     76.6

Ethylene Oxide                 10.2                                      10.2

Other Industrial             148.4                                     141.0

Physical Demand            1,151.5                                  1,027.8

Physical Surplus/Deficit   -111.8                               -20.7

ETP Inventory Build          -17.7                                  47.0

Exchange Inventory Build   12.6                                79.8

Net Balance                         -106.7                              -147.5

Silver Price, $per oz.           15.68                               17.14

Silver Price and Investment

The annual average silver price posted an impressive 9.3 percent increase in 2016, its first rise since 2011.  Assisting the price was last year’s supply and demand scenario, which led to another annual silver market deficit, the largest in three years and the third largest on record, reaching 147.5 Moz.  The average price last year, at US$17.14, registered 28 percent higher than 2007, when the silver price averaged US$13.38.

Identifiable investment, which consists of physical bar investment, coins & medals purchases, and additions or drawdowns to exchange traded products (ETP) holdings, retreated 7 percent from the level achieved in 2015 to 253.8 Moz last year.  To put this in a broader context, this level of investment was still 23 percent higher than the average over the decade preceding 2015.  Holdings in global ETPs increased robustly by 47 Moz last year, posting an all-time high in October.

Silver coin and medals fabrication fell by 9 percent in 2016, from its record high in 2015, to 123.2 Moz.  Even so, coin and medal fabrication was still at its second highest level this century.  Silver bar investment fell by 46 percent, mainly the result of lackluster demand in India due to a combination of higher prices, destocking and government measures on unaccounted wealth.  Notably, increases in bar demand occurred in Germany and the United Kingdom.

Silver Fabrication Demand

Total physical demand fell by 11 percent in 2016 to 1,027.8 Moz, pulled lower by weaker offtake for jewelry, silverware and retail investment.  Industrial applications, the largest component of physical silver demand, accounted for 55 percent of total physical silver demand last year, and were marginally lower by just 1 percent, reaching 561.9 Moz.  The United States experienced another healthy rise in this sector, the second in succession, jumping 9 percent over 2015 volumes, while Japan posted a 6 percent rise in silver industrial fabrication.  Elsewhere demand was dragged lower by softer economic conditions with declines in China, Africa, South America and Europe.

Silver demand for photovoltaic applications posted a noteworthy 34 percent rise to reach 76.6 Moz.  This growth was the strongest since 2010 and driven by a 49 percent increase in global solar panel installations.  Silver’s use in the ethylene oxide industry grew at the margin, yet it was a record performance for the sector supported by a 6 percent rise in global capacity.

Silver jewelry fabrication declined 9 percent to 207 Moz from the record level of 228.3 Moz set in 2015.  The loss was led by China and India, where jewelry offtake was materially weaker due to higher silver prices and a build-up of stocks.  Demand was stronger however in Indonesia, Vietnam, and the United States, which had a 12 percent increase in jewelry fabrication, reaching 16.1 Moz last year.  Globally, silverware declined by 17 percent to 52.1 Moz with higher silver prices accounting for the bulk of the fall.

Silver’s use in electrical and electronic applications, as well as its use in brazing alloys, fell last year, victims of a still sluggish global economy.  Photographic demand fell by just 3 percent in 2016 to 45.2 Moz, representing the lowest percentage decline since 2004, potentially indicating that the bulk of structural change in the photography market is over and that current fabrication volumes may be largely sustainable.

*** Oh yeah, you want to buy a bridge in Brooklyn? Cheap?***

silverwood's picture
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The Silver Institute's Mike DiRienzo - "World of Silver Update"

Confirmation that silver price has bottomed in late 2015?

AngryCitizen's picture
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Haven't looked thru all pages,

But is there an updated USGS report about how much silver's left in the earth's crust? Last I saw was 2004/05 report.



Frodo: "I wish it need not have happened in my time," Gandalf: "So do I. And so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." J.R.R. Tolkien (1892 - 1973) The Fellowship Of The Ring

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