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Industrial Demand Sets Record and Other Silver News

Industrial demand for silver set a record in 2023 driven by a significant increase in silver offtake in the solar energy sector.

This was one of several stories on the silver market featured in the latest edition of Silver News published by the Silver Institute.

Industrial demand for silver came in at 654.4 million ounces in 2023.

According to the Silver Institute,

"Higher than expected photovoltaic (PV) capacity additions and faster adoption of new-generation solar cells raised global electrical and electronics demand by a substantial 20 percent."

Other green energy initiatives, including power grid construction and vehicle electrification, also boosted silver demand. 

Chinese silver industrial demand rose by 44 percent to 261.2 million ounces.

Despite record industrial demand, overall silver offtake dropped 7 percent in 2023, but this was compared to record demand the previous year. Even so, with silver mine production declining by 1 percent, 2023 with a structural silver market deficit of 184.3 million ounces. It was the third straight year silver demand outstripped supply.

The Silver Institute projects silver demand will grow by 2 percent in 2024, with industrial demand posting another all-time high. This will likely lead to the fourth straight annual structural market deficit somewhere in the neighborhood of 215 million ounces.

According to the report, silver will be an important material in the development of AI.

This was just one of several interesting stories reported in the latest edition of Silver News.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Scientists have discovered that short zaps of electricity can enhance silver's ability to destroy cancerous cells. According to a journal article, extremely short electrical pulses at target cells enhance the ability of low levels of silver nanoparticles to enter the cells and destroy them. In simplest terms, the pulses open passageways for the silver nanoparticles to enter without having to fight their way through the tougher outside membrane.
  • A recently published article by Market Trends Report highlights the large number of factors that impact the price of silver. These include gold and copper prices, exchange rates, interest rates, inflation, and stock prices, not to mention overall economic conditions. "There is no magic formula or combination of factors that consistently and accurately explains either the level of or change in the silver price. While the silver price is not a random walk neither is its future path entirely predictable based on past trends.”
  • Researchers in Thailand have discovered a way to retrieve the silver in batteries in an environmentally friendly and scalable manner. This discovery is timely as many jurisdictions are requiring or considering steps to ensure that all batteries are recycled instead of ending up in landfills.
  • Researchers in China have discovered a process to create a thinner silver film for use in optoelectronics. This includes devices such as electronic light sensors. "The atomic-level surface smooth permits excellent visible transparency, electrical conductivity, and the lowest haze among all existing transparent conductors.

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