In a press release put out today, The Silver Institute said that “[i]nvestor and industrial consumption of silver has advanced at a healthy pace in 2014.”
As quoted in the market news:
Building on an impressive 2013, investors continued to boost silver holdings in the first half of 2014. Silver exchange traded funds (ETF) backed by physical silver added 7.0 million ounces (Moz) of silver bullion through June; in contrast, gold ETF holdings dipped by 1.4 Moz ounces over the same time period. Globally, silver bullion coin sales are up 4.5 percent through the 1st quarter of 2014, according to precious metals consultancy Thomson Reuters GFMS. U.S. Mint sales of American Eagle Silver Bullion coins maintained near record level sales, totaling 24.1 Moz for the first six months of 2014, just shy of the 25.0 Moz sold in the first half of 2013, threatening to overtake the record sales of 42.7 million American Eagle coins acquired by investors last year. Other silver investment products, such as silver bar consumption, appear to be easing so far this year after a strong showing in 2013.
Industrial demand for silver in critical sectors, such as ethylene oxide production, has increased significantly in the first half of the year and is expected to increase 23 percent this year to 8.0 Moz, according to Thomson Reuters GFMS. Ethylene oxide is a vital building block chemical, critical to production of detergents, solvents, plastics and a broad range of organic chemicals, and is an example of the unmatched importance of silver in industry.