The World Silver Survey 2016 report released May 5 by The Silver Institute reports worldwide silver investment demand in 2015 reached record levels.
The report was compiled for The Silver Institute by GFMS Thomas Reuters.
The report indicates that identifiable investment, which comprises bars, coins and medals, and changes to exchange-traded product holdings (ETP holdings decreased in 2015), reached a near record high totaling 274.7 million ounces in 2015, up 16 percent compared with 2014 levels.
Coin and bar investment climbed 24 percent to a record high of 292.3 million ounces in 2015. Coin demand alone reached a record high of 134.1 million ounces of the total silver investments, with demand in North America accounting for 31 percent of the overall increase in 2015.
Connect with Coin World:
"Growth catapulted as mints ran out of coin inventories and could not produce enough coins to meet the pace of demand throughout the second half of the year," according to the report.
Bar purchases alone reached a record high of 158.2 million ounces in 2015.
Because silver bullion coin demand could not be fulfilled, investors turned to other silver bullion products, including small bars and silver rounds fabricated by private mints to fill the void, according to the report.
Coin and bar investment reflected 25 percent of the total physical demand.
Exchanged-traded products backed by silver dipped 17.7 million ounces in 2015 to 617.8 million ounces (but investment demand in ETPs rebounded during the first quarter of 2016, bringing total ETP demand to 640 million ounces).