Global mine supply production could fall in 2016 as much as 5% year-on-year. This would represent the first reduction to global silver mine production since 2002. The lower price environment gave little incentive for producers to invest in expanding capacity at operations. Looking ahead, many analysts expect global silver mine production to fall through 2019, as primary silver production drops from mature operations.
Silver industrial demand, the largest component of total silver off-take, is set to increase its share of total demand in 2016. Silver is incorporated into a variety of industrial applications and is generally price-insensitive, given the small quantities that are used in some applications and its critical contribution to these applications’ functionality. In 2015, industrial fabrication demand accounted for an estimated 54% of total physical silver demand.