Precious Metals

2018 silver demand increases at price less than half of 2011 average

Investment demand for silver comes mostly from the coin and bar sectors.

Images courtesy of the U.S. Mint.

The Silver Institute reports that net demand for silver increased 3.5 percent in 2018, with investment totals climbing 20.5 percent.

The $15.71 average spot price per troy ounce on the London bullion market during 2018 was less than half the average price reached in 2011, of $35.12.

Mine production of silver in 2018 reached 855,700,000 troy ounces, a slight drop from the 876,900,000 troy ounces mined during 2017.

Total physical demand for silver in 2018 reached 1,033,500,000 troy ounces compared with 998,400,000 troy ounces in 2017.

Investment demand in 2018 for coins and bars tallied 181,200,000 troy ounces compared with 150,400,000 troy ounces  in 2017.

Over the past 10 years, annual investment demand in silver coins and bars peaked in 2015 at 293,700,000 troy ounces. The lowest annual demand for coins and bars was recorded in 2009 at 79,600,000 troy ounces.

Industrial fabrication of silver in 2018 accounted for 578,600,000 troy ounces compared with 585,800,000 troy ounces in 2017. Industrial fabrication of silver over the past decade peaked at 653,000,000 troy ounces in 2011.

An exchange-traded fund surplus of 34,200,000 troy ounces in 2017 was replaced by a 29,200,000-ounce deficit in 2018, according to the Institute.

This article was updated on Sept. 16 to correct several references to "tons" in the weights cited.

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