Silver Demand For Industrial Applications Forecast To Reach Nearly 680 Million Oz In 2018

December 15, 2014

Total silver industrial demand is forecast to grow 27 percent, adding an additional 142 million ounces of silver demand through 2018 compared with 2013 levels, according to a new report issued today by the Silver Institute.  Half of this growth will be accounted for by the electrical and electronics sector, but additional demand will be due to growth in other industrial applications, as highlighted in the report entitled, “Glistening Particles of Industrial Silver.”

The unique properties of silver – its excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, as well as its malleability, ductility and optical reflectivity – make it indispensable in many industrial applications, from watch batteries to industrial-scale solar energy systems, according to CRU Consulting, the London-based metals consultancy and authors of the report.

Increasingly, applications for silver are being invented, discovered and, importantly, commercialized.  The report outlines the potential for growth from several of the most important industrial silver applications.  Increasing demand for silver in solar panels, as well as in the production of ethylene oxide, automobiles, bearings and batteries, has influenced consumers in developed and developing countries to varying degrees, with silver industrial demand shifting among key geographical locations.  Increased use of silver has driven consumption growth in both China and India and the trend seems likely to continue.

Silver Consumption in Examined Industrial Sectors – 2013 and 2018F (millions of ounces)


 

Consumption 2013

Consumption 2018F

Batteries

32

36

Ethylene Oxide (EO)

52

63

Photovoltaic (solar panels)

88

109

Automotive

56

71

Brazing and Alloys

70

88

Bearings

2

3

Printed Silver Inks

2

4

Others (medical, water purification)

9

12

Total

310

386


The photovoltaic market has been a strong market for silver consumption.  Since 2013, there has been rapid development in the Asia-Pacific region with China dominating, along with strong potential for South America and Africa.  In Europe, especially in Germany, there is continued growth in the installation of new photovoltaic capacity.  Looking ahead, the Middle-East and North Africa represent huge untapped potential as this technology becomes more affordable, and the Indian government aims for India to become a global leader in solar energy over the next three decades.

Additionally, the report examines future silver use in printed inks, brazing and alloys, and anti-bacterial applications as well as the evolution of silver demand over the centuries, underscoring silver’s continued vital importance to global industry.

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Courtesy of www.silverinstitute.org.

The symbol for silver ‘AG’ comes from the Latin word ‘agentum’ meaning silver.