The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on most elements of physical supply and demand was significant, with a number of major silver mining countries being affected by the lockdown restrictions, which led to a decline in the supply of silver. However, in a recently released report, the Silver Institute stated that the international demand for silver is set to increase to 1.02 billion ounces in 2021.
This figure is a 15% increase from last year’s figures as well as the first time global demand for the metal has exceeded a billion ounces since 2015. The forecast is a slight drop from the predictions made in April when the institute’s forecast demand for the year was 1.03 billion ounces.
At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for silver from investors who sought a safe asset to ride out economic unrest increased but significantly decreased from jewelers and manufacturers. The institute later noted that even with most economies around the globe on lockdown in 2021 demand for silver increased across the board this year.
For instance, demand from makers of silverware, jewelers, manufacturers of goods such as electronics and solar panels, and investors in silver coins and bars increased. The institute forecasts that the silver market will be undersupplied by seven million ounces this year, making this its first deficit since 2015.
It notes that these numbers are exclusive of exchange-traded funds, which store silver for investors. This is because the funds hold silver bars without remaking them, unlike other silver users.
The Silver Institute added that it expects exchange-traded funds to stockpile less silver than the figures recorded in 2020 but more than was typical prior to the pandemic. Currently, silver is trading at about $25 per ounce. This is a slight increase from its 2015 to 2019 price of $16 to $17. However, it is lower than the $30 high the metal reached earlier in February.
In addition to this, the institute expects that the metal will benefit from its precious metals credentials, concerns about inflation and against the backdrop of low rates of interest. This is in addition to benefitting from policymakers’ focus on green-energy applications that use silver.
The institute’s figures are prepared by Metals Focus, an independent precious metals research consulting firm. Forecasts from Metals Focus expect to see a silver rally, with the metal’s price reaching $32 before the year’s end. This will make the average for the year $27.30, which is more than 30% higher than last year’s figures.
The anticipated shortage bodes well for extraction companies such as StraightUp Resources Inc. (CSE: ST) (OTCQB: STUPF) as they stand to deliver greater value to their shareholders and other stakeholders once the deficit bites and there is upward price movement.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to StraightUp Resources Inc. (CSE: ST) (OTCQB: STUPF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/STUPF
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