This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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The Silver Institute, a non-profit international industry association, will issue a report entitled The Silver Investment Market – An Update this summer.
The report will examine who is investing in silver, investment in paper instruments linked to silver, physical investment in western and developing markets, silver mining stocks, as well as an analysis of privately held silver bullion stocks. It will also provide commentary on future trends in the different components of silver investment demand.
Since 2009, when the Silver Institute issued its initial report on silver investment, this key segment of the silver market has attracted interest worldwide.
“This is a good time to take a fresh look at how investors are changing the dynamic of the silver market,” said Michael DiRienzo, executive director of the Silver Institute.
GFMS Ltd. has been commissioned to produce the report for the Silver Institute.
According to the association, silver is proving to be the investment metal of choice among investors in 2011:
• Silver’s price has increased 48 percent since the start of 2011, and its strong performance far exceeds the rise in gold prices, which stands at 8 percent, based on the London Fix.
• In the first quarter of 2011, U.S. Mint sales of its 1-ounce silver bullion Eagle coin reached 12.4 million ounces (Moz), more than 37 percent higher year on year. This comparison is even more striking given that 2010’s full year total for the U.S. Mint was a record high. If this performance is maintained, the U.S. Mint will comfortably achieve a new record in 2011.
• Through the first quarter of 2011, total silver exchange-traded fund holdings stood at 612 Moz. When compared with end-March 2010 (471 Moz), they are now over 140 Moz higher year-on-year.
• CME Group announced that on April 25 it had reached record volume in its COMEX silver futures, as well as in open interest of its silver options. Trading of silver futures reached 319,204 contracts, surpassing the prior record of 201,216 contracts set on Nov. 9, 2010.