UNITED STATES August 01 2014 11:22 AM
Washington, DC (Scrap Register): Industrial demand of silver, which accounts for over 50% of global demand, is likely to rise by 5% per year from 2014-2016, outpacing forecasted global GDP growth, said Silver Institute in its report titled “The Outlook for New Electrical and Electronic Uses of Silver.”
The report identifies three key potential growth areas for silver demand:
--Light emitting diodes (LEDs);
These three growth areas combined have the potential to add another 20 million ounces of silver to total demand by 2018.
“With the introduction of these advanced uses of silver in the electrical and electronics category, which last year provided over 40 percent of total silver industrial demand, along with growth in established uses, we should see silver industrial demand develop even further, especially as economies grow globally,” stated Michael DiRienzo, Executive Director of the Silver Institute.
Highlights of the report include:
--Within the flexible electronics sector, the report forecasts notable gains in silver use for flexible displays. Flexible displays, which incorporate silver, can be found in tablets, cell phones and e-readers.
--The report indicates a healthy rise in LED demand, driven by falling costs and increasingly stringent lighting energy legislation that will accelerate LED adoption, thus leading to strong growth for silver demand.
--Interposers that include silver could hold considerable promise for future silver demand. Interposers enable far greater functionality in the next generation of semiconductor chips. Given the greater technical demands made of interposers, glass, with the addition of silver, is being considered as an alternative material. Metals Focus maintains that should glass (and therefore silver) prevail as the interposer technology of choice, silver demand is on course to benefit.
--The report also examines the outlook for established end-uses, such as silver’s use in ethylene oxide (EO) production, which is a key building block chemical in the production of detergents, solvents and plastics. Silver demand in the EO sector has enjoyed near uninterrupted growth over the past 30-40 years, primarily due to the growing demand for a range of consumer and industrial products. The EO category could witness even greater silver demand, especially in the United States, with the advent of shale gas, potentially yielding new EO plants.
--Metals Focus also reports that silver’s use in photovoltaics for solar power installations may well surpass its previous demand peak, registered in 2011, as early as 2016-17.
The report was produced by Metals Focus, the London-based independent precious metals research consultancy, on behalf of the Silver Institute.