A report released by the Silver Institute forecasts a healthy outlook for global silver industrial demand, the largest component of annual silver fabrication demand. The report states that industrial uses of silver should rise sharply over the next five years to 666 million troy ounces (Moz) by 2015, representing 60 percent of total fabrication demand that year – a 36 percent increase over 2010’s figure of 487 Moz.
The report, The Future of Silver Industrial Demand, was produced by the leading precious metals consultancy, GFMS Ltd, on behalf of the Silver Institute. The report assesses the future prospect of total silver industrial demand over the next five years, and where sector growth opportunities are likely to emerge. The report underscores silver’s unique characteristics that make it the metal of choice for a wide range of established industrial uses, particularly in electronics and thermal applications.
The report also focuses on many new uses that rely on silver’s antibacterial qualities, where the incorporation of silver makes the difference between an ordinary product and a unique one. Noteworthy in the report is the potential market impact of 11 recent applications that incorporate silver. These uses which range from food packaging to radio frequency identification tags to autocatalysts, taken together could exceed 40 Moz of industrial demand by 2015.
Key findings from the report:
- The report maintains that stronger silver industrial demand in the U.S. and Asia will be a key factor in driving growth in the global total through 2015, and healthy developing country demand especially in markets such as China and India, will also be an important factor.
- Much of the forecast growth will come from established applications, such as silver’s use in electrical contacts and in the photo-voltaic market.
- The technical proficiency of silver limits the ability to switch in favor of lower-cost alternatives, making the metal largely price inelastic.
- Emerging end-uses that benefit from silver’s antibacterial properties or incorporate silver’s electrical and thermal conductivity are expected to boost silver consumption through 2015.
“The report demonstrates how buoyant silver industrial demand is, not only because of the lack of substitution, but also because of the wide range of established and growing new uses that make up industrial demand,” stated Michael DiRienzo, Executive Director of the Silver Institute. “This report maintains that we expect to see robust gains in industrial silver demand over the next five years, further emphasizing silver’s essential role in industry,” DiRienzo added.
The Silver Institute is a nonprofit international industry association headquartered in Washington, D.C. Established in 1971, the Institute serves as the industry's voice in increasing public understanding of the value and many uses of silver.
The Silver Institute
©2011 The Silver Institute