Silver is commonly regarded as the second most-favoured precious metal after Gold, having been used in jewellery, coinage and ornaments for centuries. As well as its investment properties, silver is also widely used in commercial and industrial processes, with the largest silver production being in North and South America.
Silver is sought as a valuable and practical industrial commodity, and as an appealing investment. The largest industrial users of silver are the photographic, jewellery, and electronic industries. Newly mined metal provides most of the needed supply, and Mexico, The United States and Peru are the primary producers. Secondary silver sources include coin melt, scrap recovery, and dishoarding from countries where export is restricted. Secondary sources are particularly price sensitive. Mining companies, fabricators of finished products, and users of silver-content industrial materials can use the COMEX Division Silver Spot and futures contracts to manage their price risk. As a precious metal, silver also plays a role in investment portfolios.
Silver Market Influences
Like other commodities, Silver is subject to supply and demand pricing, dropping when there is an abundance in the market place and increasing when supplies become scarce.
Other market influences include mine production. 2010 saw several high profile mining incidents which highlight the often dangerous nature of this industry.