The gold-to-silver ratio has reached its lowest level in five months and the downturn could “signal a reemergence of the long-term trend” of rising silver prices in relation to gold, said Matt Insley, editor of the Daily Resource Hunter.
The gold-to-silver ratio is close to 48, after hitting a high of over 80 in 2008, he said.
Silver futures /quotes/zigman/656950 SIH2 -0.70%posted a climb of 6.4% last week, outpacing gold’s GCJ2 2.9% week-on-week rise. Silver settled Tuesday at $37.14 an ounce in New York, while gold finished at $1,788.40 an ounce.
The metal has been “on the upswing” for the past couple of weeks, said Jeffrey Wright, senior analyst of metals and mining equity research at Global Hunter Securities. The rise in partially related “to gold moving higher on U.S. fiscal deficits and the Obama administration’s refusal to address this mounting burden, Fed monetary policy, euro-debt crisis concerns, but also on signs of industrial demand for physical silver being strong in Q4 2011 and continuing into the present quarter.”
Silver prices could move higher in the weeks to come, he said, and won’t likely see any demand-side destruction until they reach the $45 range.
So the the long-term trend for the metals points to return to the “naturally occurring” gold-to-silver ratio, said Insley.
“Remember — the naturally occurring ratio of gold to silver in the earth’s crust is 17:1, so there’s still plenty of room for silver to move higher. I believe that’s where we’re headed,” he said.
“For the price of silver to meet that naturally occurring ratio today, we’d be looking at silver over $100 an ounce. That’s a 170% increase from today’s price of $37 an ounce,” Insley said.