Global Silver Demand Edged Higher In 2019…Investment Demand Up 12%

May 5, 2020

Silver Mine Supply Fell for Fourth Consecutive Year: Highlights From World Silver Survey 2020

Jewelry posted a 1 percent decrease to 201.3 million ounces, primarily due to soft demand in India and China. In contrast, Thailand achieved a 13 percent increase last year and growth was also registered in Indonesia, Japan and Italy.


Global mine production fell for the fourth consecutive year in 2019 by 1.3 percent to 836.5 million ounces. This was a result of declining grades at several large primary silver mines and disruption-related losses at some major silver producers. Primary silver production declined by 3.8 percent in 2019 to 240 Moz.

The Silver Institute released World Silver Survey 2020 on April 22. This publication, marking the 30th edition of the Survey, can be downloaded from the Silver Institute’s website.

An archive of the broadcast can be accessed by visiting the broadcast platform, World Silver Survey 2020 Presentation, which will remain available for one year.

Global silver demand pushed higher in 2019, with a 12 percent increase in investment demand as retail and institutional investors focused their attention on the long-term investment appeal of the metal.

Highlights include:

Total global silver demand in 2019 grew by 0.4 percent despite an ongoing global trade war affecting many industries. Silver industrial demand was resilient, slipping by 0.1 percent last year, with several key segments of silver industrial fabrication expanding, primarily silver’s use in photovoltaics, which grew by 7 percent to its second highest annual level.

For the fourth consecutive year, silver mine supply declined 1 percent in 2019, according to the World Silver Survey 2020, produced for the Silver Institute by Metals Focus, a London-based independent precious metals consultancy.

Investment and Price

Global silver investment jumped 12 percent to 186.1 million ounces, making it the largest annual growth since 2015. Notable gains in Europe (+25 percent), the US (+9 percent) and India (+5 percent) led to the increase. Institutional investment fared even better than retail demand. Last year, exchange-traded product (ETP) holdings stood at 728.9 million ounces at year-end, up by 13%, achieving the largest annual rise since 2010.


Global silver demand edged higher in 2019 to 991.8 million ounces, up 0.4 percent, as higher net-physical investment was offset by lower jewelry and silverware demand. Industrial fabrication was nearly unchanged from 2018 at 510.9 Moz. Photovoltaic demand registered a 7 percent increase in offtake, rising to its second highest annual level, while silver’s use in brazing alloys rose 1 percent.



Peru became the world’s largest producer of silver in 2012.

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