Silver was once an international currency. The size of the national reserve of silver used to symbolise the economic prowess of a country. In the late 1990s, industrial applications of silver became prevalent and the precious metal’s function as economic reserve waned. Major silver producing countries include Peru, Mexico, China, Australia, Chile, Canada, Poland and USA, each outputting over 1000 tonnes annually in recent years. Presently, China’s annual silver production leads the world. The rise of the demand in silver is changing the world supply of the precious metal, and the opening of the silver market of China makes the country the region with the most potential of growth.
Starting from 1980, silver underwent over 20 years of bear market. With silver prices dropping, global capital investment in silver mining decreased, thereby reducing the supply of silver in the market. At the same time, the manufacturing industries’ demand for silver rose gradually, in particular for electric, electronic, brazing, alloys applications as well as for jewellery, silverware, silver coins and medals production. After several bullish years, the price of silver has already rewritten its story since 1980. Many experts consider that the silver bull market is to continue for at least 10 years, provided that the structural deficit in the annual supply in China’s silver market is to remain fundamentally unchanged.