Total silver industrial demand is forecast to grow 27 percent, adding an additional 142 million ounces of silver demand through 2018 compared with 2013 levels, according to a new report issued today by the Silver Institute. Half of this growth will be accounted for by the electrical and electronics sector, but additional demand will be due to growth in other industrial applications, as highlighted in the report entitled, “Glistening Particles of Industrial Silver.”
The unique properties of silver – its excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, as well as its malleability, ductility and optical reflectivity – make it indispensable in many industrial applications, from watch batteries to industrial-scale solar energy systems, according to CRU Consulting, the London-based metals consultancy and authors of the report.
Increasingly, applications for silver are being invented, discovered and, importantly, commercialized. The report outlines the potential for growth from several of the most important industrial silver applications. Increasing demand for silver in solar panels, as well as in the production of ethylene oxide, automobiles, bearings and batteries, has influenced consumers in developed and developing countries to varying degrees, with silver industrial demand shifting among key geographical locations. Increased use of silver has driven consumption growth in both China and India and the trend seems likely to continue.
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