Silver s unique properties makeit a very useful Industrial Commodity ,despite it being classed as a precious metal.
Demand for silver is built onthree main pillars; industrial uses, photography and Jewellery & silverwareaccounting for 342, 205 and 259 million ounces respectively in 2002.
Just over half of mined silvercomes from Mexico, Peru and United States, respectively, the first, second andfourth largest producing countries. The third largest is Australia.
Primary mines produce about 27percent of world silver, while around 73 percent comes as a by-product of gold,copper, lead, and zinc mining.
The price of silver is not only afunction of its primary output but more a function of the price of other metalsalso, as world mine production is more a function of the prices of othermetals.
The tie between silver andeconomic activity is strong, given that around two-thirds of total silverfabrication is in the industrial and photographic sectors.
Often a faster growth in demandagainst supply leads to drop in stocks with government and investors.
Economically viable primarysilver mine is a function of the world silver price level.
World Silver Supply fromAbove-ground Stocks
Implied Net Disinvestment -9.5 20.9
Producer Hedging 18.9 -24.8
Net Government Sales 87.2 71.3
Sub-total Bullion 96.6 67.4
Scrap 182.7 184.9
Total 279.3 252.3
Silver imports into India fordomestic consumption in 2002 was 3,400 tons down 25 % from record 4,540 tons in2001.
Open General License (OGL)imports are the only significant source of supply to the Indian market.
Non-duty paid silver for theexport sector rose sharply in 2002, up by close to 200% year-on-year to 150tons.
Around 50% of India s silverrequirements last year were met through imports of Chinese silver and otherimportant sources of supply being UK, CIS, Australia and Dubai.
Indian industrial demand in 2002is estimated at 1375 tons down by 13 % from 1,579 tons in 2001. In spite ofthis fall, India is still one of the largest users of silver in the world,ranking alongside Industrial giants like Japan and the United States.
By contrast with United Statesand Japan, Indian industrial offtake for fabrication in hardcore industrial applicationslike electronics and brazing alloys accounts for only 15 % and the rest beingfor foils for use in the decorative covering of food, plating of Jewellery andsilverware and jari.
In India silver price volatilityis also an important determinant of silver demand as it is for gold.
India Industrial Fabrication ,2002
Pharmacy & Chemicals 22.4
Solders & Brazing 5.4
London Bullion Market is theglobal hub of OTC (Over-The-Counter) trading in silver.
Comex futures in New York iswhere most fund activity is focused
Frequency Distribution of SilverLondon Fixing Volatility from 1995 till date
Percentage Change > 7% 5-7% 3-5% <3%
Number of times 7 10 85 2086
Percentage times 0.3 0.5 3.9 95.3
Number of times 9 15 50 363
Percentage times 21 3.4 11.4 83.1
Biggest Price Movement since 1995
Between February 4 - 6, 1998,daily prices rocketed by 22.3%, as on a noted US financier had accumulatednearly 130 ounces of physical silver.
Note: Post September 1999 dailysilver prices have not shown more than 5% movement once and weekly silverprices only once.
Source :- www.mcxindia.com
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