India leads growth in silver jewellery demand
Pent-up consumption alongside heavy inventory restocking in India pushed global silver jewellery demand to record highs in 2022, revealed the Silver Institute.
Data published in the Silver Institute’s World Silver Survey 2023 showed a 29 per cent jump in silver jewellery fabrication to a record level of 234.1 million ounces (Moz) in 2022. “This was led by India, where pent-up demand, combined with heavy restocking by retailers and a move to higher purities, saw volumes double compared to 2021,” the report said.
The European market also showed notable gains due to higher consumption amid slower exports from Italy. According to the report, all major silver demand categories achieved record highs in 2022, pushing total silver demand to a new high of 1.242 billion ounces (Boz).
Global mine production fell marginally to 822.4 Moz, following strong growth in the previous year when production rose by nearly 6 per cent as mines recovered from pandemic-induced disruptions. Last year’s decline resulted from lower by-product output from lead/zinc mines, particularly in China and Peru. Physical silver investment meanwhile rose for a fifth consecutive year to a new high of 332.9 Moz. India led the growth with 188 per cent increase in silver investment due to lower prices and bargain hunting.
The year 2023 is poised to be another of solid silver demand, the report also said. It continued, “Although bar and coin demand and jewellery fabrication are expected to fall short of last year’s exceptional levels, both are forecast to remain historically high.”
Supply, by contrast, could achieve low single-digit gains. “As a result, this year will also see another large deficit for silver, amounting to a projected 142.1 Moz, which would be the second-largest deficit in more than 20 years,” the report noted.