Engineering & Mining Journal

OCT 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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88 E&MJ • OCTOBER 2018 www.e-mj.com MARKETS Fueled by continued industrial demand and silver mining activity, China will continue to be a major driver in the global silver market for years to come, according to the Silver Institute. China is by far the largest consumer of silver globally, accounting for 18% of global fabrication demand in recent years. In addition, to meet its robust demand needs, the country is a major destina- tion for imported silver products fab- ricated in the U.S., Japan and other countries. Moreover, China is also the third largest silver-producing country as a result of its smelting activities. Important industrial uses, as well as investment, bullion trade, jewelry and silverware demand are examined in a new report, Prospects for the Chinese Silver Market, which was released by the Silver Institute in September at the 17 th China International Silver Con- ference in Shenzhen, China. The report was researched and produced by Met- als Focus, a leading precious metals consultancy based in London. The re- port includes demand estimates for photovoltaics, electronics, alloys, jewel- ry and silverware. China's consumption of silver for so- lar applications has been rising in recent years to an estimated 65 million ounces (oz) in 2017. More than 70% of global solar panel produc- tion takes place in China and local powder fabricators are only able to satisfy a portion of the essential powder and paste for manufacturing, therefore relying in imported silver to fulfi ll their require- ments. Although policy changes will most likely see volumes decline modestly this year, the long-term up- trend is expected to resume in 2019, assisted by still sizable local installations and strong sales abroad. As far as electronics, signifi cant areas of growth include touch panels, light emitting diodes (LEDs) and equip- ment used in electricity generation. Chinese consumption of silver for elec- tronic and electrical uses was estimated at 78 million oz in 2017 and is forecast to grow modestly this year. Brazing alloys and solders account- ed for 24 million oz in 2017. A wide range of end-use applications, includ- ing railway infrastructure development, increasing car sales, refrigeration and air conditioning should fuel this growth. Jewelry and silverware have suffered declines in China in recent years, with combined fabrication reaching 29 mil- lion oz in 2017. The report is available from the Sil- ver Institute (www.silverinstitute.org). Chinese Demand Drives Silver Market Gold and silver prices provided by KITCO Bullion dealers (www.kitco.com). Platinum group metals prices provided by Johnson Matthey (www.platinum.matthey.com). Non-ferrous base and minor metal prices provided by London Metal Exchange (www.lme.co.uk). Iron ore prices provided by Platts Iron Ore Index. Currency exchange rates were provided by www.xe.com. (October 1, 2018) Precious Metals ($/oz) Base Metals ($/mt) Minor Metals ($/mt) Exchange Rates (U.S.$ Equivalent) Gold $1,188.60 Aluminum $2,047.50 Molybdenum $26,000 Euro (€) 1.155 Silver $14.47 Copper $6,172.00 Cobalt $58,000 U.K. (£) 1.298 Platinum $818.00 Lead $2,009.00 Canada ($) 0.780 Palladium $1,055.00 Nickel $12,325.00 Iron Ore ($/dmt) Australia ($) 0.719 Rhodium $2,580.00 Tin $18,950.00 Fe CFR China $68.40 South Africa (Rand) 0.070 Ruthenium $265.00 Zinc $2,619.00 China (¥) 0.146

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