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Global silver market saw record demand in 2015, with the jewellery, coin and bar, and photovoltaic sectors posting new highs, helping to boost total silver demand to 1.17 billion ounces last year, as per the latest survey by Silver Institute. The survey also shows that the Indian market displayed signs of impressive growth.
Globally, silver jewellery fabrication increased for the third consecutive year to post a fresh high at 226.5 Moz. This increase was largely achieved on the back of an impressive 16 percent rise from both India and Thailand, while North America posted a 5 percent annual increase.
Silver coin and medal demand amounted to 134.1 Moz of demand last year due to unprecedented growth in several key markets, notably the United States and India, as per the survey.
Global silver mine production growth slowed to 2 percent in 2015 and reached a record 886.7 Moz. The mine production growth was attributable to stronger output in Peru, Argentina, Russia and India.
Canada, Australia and China had lower mine production, with the latter decreasing output by 3 percent. Primary silver mine production grew 5 percent, and accounted for 30 percent of global silver mine supply. The overall slowdown in mine production last year is expected to continue.
Overall silver supply to the market was lower, led by the continued weakness in silver scrap sales. Last year’s supply and demand scenario led to the third successive annual silver market deficit, reaching 129.8 million ounces (Moz), more than 60 percent larger than 2014 and the third largest on record.
The largest component of physical silver demand, industrial applications, which accounted for 50 percent of total physical silver demand last year, was 4 percent lower, totalling 588.7 Moz. This drop was largely due to weaker fabrication demand in developing countries and a stagnant global economy.