Michael DiRienzo 世界白银协会执行董事
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our forecasts significantly. It is still too early to determine the final impact it will have on the metals market it has changed the outlook significantly.It should be noted that this is being felt by virtually all businesses on a global basis.It is also severely impacting global financial markets, and as a result, most of the precious metals complex.
Growth in silver industrial offtake (making up for just over half of total demand in 2019) was expected to resume in 2020, reversing two years of marginal losses.However, the COVID-19 global pandemic has altered significantly this outlook as supply chains throughout the world have been disrupted, and in many cases shuttered temporarily.As a result, we forecast at least a 5% decrease in 2020.
Demand from the electronics and electrical sector will be impacted. Silver use in the automotive industry, for instance, will also be affected. Silver’s use in brazing will also be impacted.Silver use in 5G-infrastructure and upcoming intelligent electronics as well as PV are bright spots.Jewelry demand is forecast to experience declines this year as many manufactures have temporarily closed their production facilities.
Investment sentiment will remain cautious this year. Holdings in silver exchange-traded products (ETPs) are forecast to remain stable in 2020.Profit-taking in ETPs is likely to be limited, even with a price rally. These holdings tend to be relatively sticky, which reflects the importance of retail investors in this market, who often adopt a longer investment horizon than many short-term professional investors. Silver physical investment, which consists of purchases of silver bullion coins and bars, is forecast to increase in the second half of this year.Demand at present is especially high, particularly for silver bullion coins.But with many global mints shuttered, the supply chain cannot keep up with this demand.We expect this to improve in H2 2020.
Silver mine production is forecast to decrease by 3 percent in 2020. This decline will be due to mining disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic.We initially were forecasting a small increase in mine production, due to the contribution from several recently commissioned mining operations and also from the ramp-up of several mine expansions to full production.That has changed however due to the pandemic.
The outlook for the silver price remains somewhat positive, but in H2 2020. The 1st quarter of this year saw wide swings in the price, and the gold/silver ratio hitting all-time highs.As the year progresses, silver should improve price wise due to a positive spill-over from gains in gold, as the yellow metal should benefit from macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainties across critical economies.Some analysts forecast that silver could perform better than gold, primarily because silver is viewed as being undervalued at present.