Silver Deficit Set to Widen in 2024 Amid Strong Industrial Demand

The global silver market is poised for a significant deficit increase in 2024, according to recent projections by the Silver Institute. The industry association forecasts a 17% rise in the deficit, reaching 215.3 million ounces. This escalation is primarily driven by a 2% growth in demand, particularly from industrial sectors, while total supply is expected to decline by 1%.

This marks the fourth consecutive year of a structural market deficit for silver, a metal crucial in various industries including jewelry, electronics, electric vehicles, and solar panels. The persistent imbalance between supply and demand has been a trend since 2021, with cumulative deficits totaling 474 million ounces over the past three years.

Despite these shortages, visible silver inventories and significant stocks held by investors have so far shielded the market from immediate pressure. However, experts warn that some of these reserves may be tightly held, potentially impacting market dynamics in the future.

The solar industry is emerging as a major driver of silver demand, with its share growing from 5% of total demand in 2014 to about 14% by the end of 2023. Projections suggest this trend will continue, potentially requiring 273 million ounces of silver for solar panels by 2030.

China’s rapid industrial growth is reshaping local supply and demand dynamics, with a 44% increase in industrial demand last year. This surge has contributed to a 5% decline in stocks held in commodity exchange depositories and London vaults.

While silver production remained flat last year despite a 20% increase in demand, supply constraints persist. Approximately 80% of silver supply comes as a by-product from lead, zinc, copper, and gold projects, limiting the ability to quickly increase production.

Via Insider

Silver prices have increased by almost 32% year over year, reaching a three-year high in late April.

Information for this story was found via Bloomberg, Insider, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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