Industrial demand for silver soared to a record high of 508m ounces last year, according to The Silver Institute.
In its newly-published World Silver Survey 2022, the institute revealed industrial silver successfully fended off logistical challenges, profiting from improved economic conditions and increased demand for consumer electronics, 5G infrastructure and photovoltaics materials in solar projects.
Overall global silver demand also spiked 19 per cent to 1.05bn ounces last year, its highest level since 2015 – surpassing pre-pandemic levels.
The Silver Institute said: “This mainly reflected the effects of a resumption of industrial operations and the re-opening of businesses as economies began to recover from Covid-19.”
Demand for silver jewellery and silverware was up 20 and 30 per cent respectively, with demand from India driving the surge.
Meanwhile silver ETFs registered inflows of 65m ounces that were concentrated at the start of the year, with holdings also climbing to a new record high.
Despite the record figures, The Silver Institute warns there is considerable uncertainty regarding the outlook for this year.
It said the boost to precious metal prices from the war in Ukraine will likely prove short-lived, and that underlying fundamentals will begin to dictate prices again this year.
The Silver Institute said: “We believe the silver price will keep to its recent trading range over the next few months, even after support from the Ukrainian conflict wanes. Later in the year, however, liquidations and price downside will be hard to avoid.”
Overall, The Silver Institute forecasts that the silver price will average $23.90 per ounce in 2022.
It is currently priced at $24.42 per ounce.