Strong silver investment in 2011 paved the way to a record annual average silver price in a year marked by steep price volatility. Despite significantly higher silver prices, total fabrication demand posted its second highest level since 2000, while retail silver investment demand for both physical bullion bars and coins & medals surged to record levels, according to "World Silver Survey 2012," released today by the Silver Institute.
Silver Price and Investment
Silver posted an annual average price of $35.12 in 2011, more than double the $14.67 annual average price achieved in 2009. This offers further testament to investors' enthusiasm for the metal as silver World Investment (including implied net investment, silver bars and coins & medals) produced another historic high total last year of 282.2 million ounces (Moz), the equivalent of approximately $10 billion on a net basis, itself a record high.
Physical silver bar investment grew by a massive 67 percent in 2011 to 95.7 Moz, while global coins & medals fabrication rose by almost 19 percent to an all-time high of 118.2 Moz. Western Europe and the United States, which bested 2010's record performance in terms of American Silver Eagle Bullion Coin sales, led this category to its record high. Elsewhere, strong demand in China accounted for a near 60 percent rise in its bullion coin output last year.