According to a recent report from the Silver Institute, global demand for silver is projected to reach 1.2 billion ounces in 2024, the second-highest level ever recorded. This surge in demand is primarily attributed to robust industrial activity, with the automotive, solar panel, jewelry, and electronics sectors expected to drive silver consumption to new heights.
Michael DiRienzo, Executive Director of the Silver Institute, expressed optimism about silver’s prospects, stating that the white metal is poised for a stellar year in terms of demand. Silver prices are anticipated to reach $30 per ounce, a level not seen since February 2013, reports Al-Jarida daily.
Randy Smallwood, CEO of Wheaton Precious Metals, noted that silver prices typically follow those of gold, albeit with a slight time lag. The institute forecasts a 9 percent increase in demand for silverware and a 6 percent increase in jewelry demand, with India expected to lead the surge in jewelry purchases.
While the anticipated recovery in consumer electronics is expected to further bolster the silver market, potential headwinds include a slowdown in the Chinese economy and uncertainty regarding US interest rate cuts.
However, market sentiment could shift in the latter half of 2024, with many observers expecting the US Federal Reserve to initiate interest rate cuts. Historically, silver prices tend to exhibit an inverse relationship with interest rates, making them more attractive to investors when rates are lower.
Despite being often referred to as gold’s lesser counterpart, silver tends to outperform gold during periods of strong economic growth, albeit with higher volatility. The gold-to-silver ratio, which currently stands at 90 ounces of silver per ounce of gold, is closely monitored to gauge their relative performance.
Smallwood suggested that silver could potentially reach $50 per ounce, but only after gold surpasses $2,200 per ounce. DiRienzo echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that silver has the potential to outperform gold, particularly as the Fed begins easing interest rates.