Global Silver Supply to jump three percent in 2024

Total global silver supply is forecast to grow by 3 percent in 2024 to an eight-year high of 1.02 billion ounces, entirely led by a recovery in mine output.

Silver mine production in 2024 is projected to rise 4 percent to 843 Moz, the highest level since 2018. This growth is, to a large extent, reliant on undisrupted operations at Newmont’s Peñasquito gold mine in Mexico, the commissioning of Polymetal’s Prognoz silver mine in Russia, the start-up of Gold Field’s Salares Norte gold mine in Chile, and the continued ramp-up of operations at Coeur’s Rochester expansion project in the U.S.

By-product silver output from base metal mines is forecast to decrease as community and government disputes led to some mine closures in 2023, particularly in South America. Furthermore, there is an impending risk to silver output from zinc mines that may continue to face mine suspensions due to weak zinc prices.

In contrast, silver recycling is expected to edge lower, with volumes likely to drop by 3 percent to a three-year low. Lower jewelry and silverware scrap supply will account for most of this year’s losses. Photographic scrap is also expected to weaken due to structural factors, leaving industrial recycling the only area anticipated to record modestly higher volumes.

The silver market is forecast to remain in a deficit (total supply less demand) in 2024, marking the fourth consecutive year of a structural market deficit. Although this year’s deficit is expected to ease by 9 percent to 176 Moz (194 Moz in 2023), it will still be exceptionally high by historical standards. With that backdrop, the Silver Institute offers its thoughts on the 2024 silver market, noting that Metals Focus, the distinguished global precious metals research consultancy based in London, contributed to this analysis. The firm will research and produce the Silver Institute’s annual report on the international silver market, World Silver Survey 2024, which will be released on April 17.

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