The world is on the brink of a shortage of silver, which could happen by the end of this year, reported the international association Silver Institute, which includes some of the world’s largest companies for the production and processing of this precious metal.
Global demand for silver made up of industrial users, jewelry and home goods manufacturers, and investors will increase by a record 16 percent compared to last year. That would put silver demand at an all-time high, expected to reach as much as 1.21 billion ounces by the end of this year, according to a report by the Washington-based Silver Institute.
Due to strong demand, the silver market faces a deficit of 194 million ounces of metal, four times more than in 2021, when the deficit was 48 million ounces.
Investor silver terms in London and New York, tracked by international organizations such as the London Bullion Dealers Association (LBMA), have fallen by 370 million ounces this year, or 25 percent.
As one of the main culprits for the growth in demand for silver, the institute points to the automotive industry, which is constantly increasing the electronics in vehicles that require the use of precious metal.
The widespread adoption of 5G technology and the global movement towards green energy are also important factors in the growing demand, the report added. For example, solar panel manufacturers are accumulating more and more silver.
The increased demand was also influenced by the lower price in India, which fell in 2020 and 2021, so the demand for silver doubled in this large market.
Silver prices have fallen about 10 percent this year to $21 an ounce, largely as investors sell in response to a strengthening U.S. dollar and rising U.S. bond yields.