Upticks in Silver Demand Seen in First Half of 2015
Washington (Aug 23) Through the first half of this year, silver experienced increased demand for jewelry and important industrial applications, two signals of demand growth for this most versatile of metals.
Silver jewelry, a mainstay of silver demand, was strong in the first half of 2015. In the U.S., imports of silver jewelry jumped 11 percent through the end of May, as consumer desire for silver jewelry increased significantly this year. The U.S. is the largest importer of silver jewelry, as measured in dollar terms, and this demand impacts silver trade across Asia. U.S. imports from Thailand are up 18.5 percent through the end of May while China showed an increase of 14 percent in the same period. GFMS Thomson Reuters (GFMS), the precious metals consultancy, estimates that globally silver jewelry will grow 5 percent in 2015.
With almost 60 percent of silver demand tied to industrial use, silver’s role in industrial applications is looking brighter in several important areas. GFMS forecasts a 2 percent growth in industrial applications for silver this year.
In the renewable energy industry sector, the demand for silver by solar panel producers is expected to increase 8 percent to 65 million ounces this year. The rise reflects increased solar cell production and a higher number of installations. The increase is due to the U.S., which had a 76 percent increase in solar installations in the first quarter of 2015 when compared to last year. China and India both have aggressive solar installation plans and are expected help drive this projected growth as well.