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  • Global Silver Mine Production Drops in 2016 for First Time in 14 Years:


    World Silver Survey 2017


    Global silver mine production in 2016 recorded its rst decline since 2002. When added to declining silver scrap supply, which posted its lowest level since 1996, and a contraction in producer hedging, total silver supply decreased by 32.6 million ounces in 2016.


    New highs were recorded for silver’s growing use in the photovoltaic and ethylene oxide sectors, which are signi cant industrial applications for silver. These ndings, and other key components of the silver market, are discussed in World Silver Survey 2017 released May 11 by the Silver Institute and produced on its behalf by the GFMS Team at Thomson Reuters (GFMS).


    Other highlights from the World Silver Survey 2017 include:


    Supply: The total silver mined in 2016 dropped by 0.6 percent to 885.8 million ounces. A large proportion of the drop was attributable to the lower output from the lead/zinc and gold sectors. Mexico was again the world’s largest silver producing country, followed by Peru, China, Chile and Russia.

    Silver scrap supply fell to 139.7 million ounces in 2016, despite higher silver prices. The contraction was largely driven by lower Asian ows, due in part to lower industrial fabrication volumes.


    Demand: Total silver physical demand fell by 11 percent in 2016 due to weaker offtake for jewelry, silverware and retail investment. Industrial applications, the largest component of physical silver demand, accounted for 55 percent of total physical silver demand last year, and was marginally lower by just 1 percent. That said, the United States experienced another healthy rise in this sector, the second in succession, jumping 9 percent over 2015 volumes, while Japan posted a 6 percent rise in silver industrial fabrication. Elsewhere, demand was dragged lower by softer economic conditions with declines in China, Africa, South America and Europe.


    Silver demand for photovoltaic applications posted an impressive 34 percent rise. This growth was the strongest since 2010 and driven by a 49 percent increase in global solar panel installations. Silver’s use in the ethylene oxide industry grew by 6 percent. Silver’s use in electrical and electronic applications, as well as its use in brazing alloys, fell last year due to a sluggish global economy.

    from: The Silver Institute