Currently viewing Global edition

"Silver is ending a boring year badly"

Silver has come down 12.6% from September’s high in a continuation of its year spent pinballing between $15-$18 per ounce, but higher prices could be coming.
"Silver is ending a boring year badly" "Silver is ending a boring year badly" "Silver is ending a boring year badly" "Silver is ending a boring year badly" "Silver is ending a boring year badly"

Positive or negative: silver coin sales in the US "can't fall by as much as they did this year" in 2018, Macquarie says

Staff reporter

Macquarie was blunt about silver's performance this year but forecast better fortunes in 2018 in this week's analyst wrap.

"Silver is ending a boring year badly," the commodities team said.  

"While it didn't go up with the base metals, it is now going down.

"We think 2018 should see a turnaround - first on a re-rating against gold as industrial demand keeps rising and then joining gold's rally as the dollar weakens."

The double-kick of the gold rally and market perception improvement could see silver on a tear, Macquarie said.

"And when silver goes, it often goes a lot."

Silver's flatness in a year when gold managed a 10% improvement and industrial demand held up was because of investor disinterest, Macquarie said.

"The main culprit for silver's lacklustre price performance seems to be weaker investor demand, something base metals haven't suffered from," the analysts said.

"GFMS estimates offtake in this category will be a huge 37% lower year-on-year, at just 130 million ounces (13% of total demand) - a drop of 76Moz.

"The bulk of this has come from the ETFs, which gained 52Moz in 2016 but in 2017 have fallen 6Moz."

Macquarie said the ETF flows showed they were not driving the price falls but hadn't been "pushing it higher either".

So where's the upside?

It's more of the same really; industrial demand will stay strong, the mysterious gold/silver ratio will settle as people realise the power of that demand and investors come back.

Macquarie forecasts a consistent improvement in the new year, with the March and June quarter forecast averages of $18.50/oz and $19.50/oz respectively.