Author: Paul Ploumis
12 Jun 2015 Last updated at 08:35:20 GMT
MUMBAI (Scrap Monster): India is on track to surpass all previous records pertaining to silver imports. The estimated silver imports by the country during the initial four-month period from January to April this year suggests that yearly imports may explode to touch new highs in 2015. The record silver imports by India are on the back of rising retail and industrial demand.
According to rough estimates, India’s silver bullion imports during January to April this year totaled nearly 3,000 tonnes. The imports are nearly 30% higher when compared with the imports during the corresponding four-month period in 2014. Assuming that the imports may continue at the same pace, the yearly import quantity is all set to exceed 9,000 tonnes. Considering the fact that global silver mine supply had totaled 27,277 tonnes in 2014, India’s demand in 2015 would account for almost one-third of the average annual global mine supply.
The sharp fall in silver prices has initiated fresh investments in silver bars and coins. Huge quantities of money that had previously flown into gold bars and coins have now started flowing to silver counterparts. The demand for silver-studded jewellery in India has exploded over the past couple of years. The excessive demand has even forced companies to launch new platforms for silver jewellery retailing. Also, silverware consumption has more than tripled from 2012 levels to touch record levels in 2014.
With the Indian government reaffirming its commitment to generate 100 GW of solar power by 2022, industrial demand for silver has zoomed significantly. The anticipated growth prospects of photovoltaic cells have resulted in accumulation of silver by local manufacturers. The government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative is expected to provide big boost to PV cell manufacturing industry in the country. The industry foresees rapid growth in silver consumption on the back of escalating demand rise from industrial sector.