(Washington D.C. – February 5, 2019) Last year, the silver market faced a challenging environment which was reflected in a muted price performance. Preliminary estimates point towards a minor 0.3 percent increase in total supply whereas demand contracted 3 percent. A slowing Chinese economy, coupled with rising U.S. interest rates, an equity market bull run, and global trade tensions, affected the price performance across many markets, including gold and silver.

This year, we expect the sentiment to be more supportive for the silver market. The start of 2019 has already proven to be good for silver investors. The U.S. Mint for example, sold 12 percent more American Eagles in January compared to January 2018. In addition, the expected slowdown in the U.S. FED rate hiking cycle should also benefit silver, which in comparison to gold, has a very attractive price point based on the high gold:silver ratio at around 82.

Against this backdrop, the Silver Institute provides the following insights on 2019 silver market trends.

Silver Demand

Silver demand from industrial fabrication, responsible for approximately 60 percent of total demand, is forecast to rise modestly in 2019. We expect most sectors to record reasonable growth based on silver’s use in a wide variety of applications. Silver demand from brazing alloys and solders as well as electrical and electric applications is expected to rise again this year. This is on the back of continued demand from the automotive sector, which uses an increasing amount of applications, such as safety features, window defogging and infotainment systems, and for electric and hybrid vehicles. We also forecast growth in silver’s use in a variety of additional sectors, such as water purification, chemical applications, LED lighting, flexible electronics and screens as well as anti-microbial applications in textiles.