Tuesday, December 28, 2010
BIG CREEK, Idaho—An unexpected surge in investor demand is sending silver prices soaring—and speculators and mining companies are digging in.
In the past four months, the metal has upended forecasts, rising 51% to a series of 30-year highs, before inflation. Silver closed Thursday at $29.31 a troy ounce, up from $16.822 at the beginning of 2010.
Among the four major precious metals—the others being gold, platinum and palladium—silver is up 74% this year, on track to be the second-best performing commodity after palladium, which is up 86%. Gold, by contrast, is up 26% and copper just under 28%.......read on
As reported by Bloomberg on October 19, 2010, Chinese silver exports declined 60% in the first eight months of this year. There could be several reasons for this: increased investment demand by the Chinese public, hoarding for industrial use by Chinese businesses, and accumulation by the Chinese Central Bank. China is now the world’s third largest silver miner after Mexico and Peru, and the world’s largest refiner of silver. There have been rumors that Chinese silver exports may be reduced to zero in 2011. Although they are now the world’s biggest gold producer, China exports no gold, and increased their gold imports by nearly 500% in the first ten months of 2010, according to Bloomberg.
Silver is a crucial material input for many high tech goods produced in China, and the Chinese government economists are surely wise enough to see that it will continue to get scarcer and more expensive in the coming years. They will be needing a ready supply of silver to dominate the world market in flat panel TV's, cell phones, computers, hybrid car batteries, solar collectors, and many more products too numerous to mention......read in full