The low prices of silver have boosted demand for the white metal. The investment and jewelry demand for silver in India rose sharply during 2014. The global demand for silverware, jewelry and ETFs touched record highs during the year. Meantime, silver prices collapsed almost 20% during 2014.
The tight restrictions on gold imports saw investments directed to silver during the past two years. The latest study report on silver demand and supply by GFMS metal consultancy indicates that silver jewelry offtake by the country during 2013 surged higher by 81% to 1,315 tons from 724 tons during 2012. Silver jewelry fabrication demand surged to record highs of 1,936 tons in 2014.
According to statistics released by the Gems & Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), India’s silver imports more than doubled from 1,921 tons in 2012 to 5,819 tons in 2013. In 2014, silver imports touched new record of 6,842 tons, rising sharply by 18% over the previous year. Silver increasingly started replacing white gold in studded gold jewelry. The demand for Indian silver-studded jewelry witnessed huge uptick over the past two years.
The falling prices of silver led to fresh investments in silver bars and coins. The drop in sales of gold coins and bars saw the money flowing into silver alternatives. The excessive demand for silver made companies launch new platforms for silver jewelry retailing. Incidentally, India emerged as the world’s fourth largest silver coin fabricator after the United States, Canada and Australia.
Silverware consumption in the country almost tripled from 472 tons in 2012 to 1,222 tons in 2014. The consumption during 2014 hit their highest level since 2006.
While gold ETFs posted a decline of 160 tons, silver ETF holdings touched record level of 19,728 tons in 2014.
Going forward, industry experts forecast rapid growth in silver demand on the back of significant demand rise from industrial sector. The increased use of Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) and Solar Devices are likely to deliver big boost to silver demand over the coming decades.