A new Thomson Reuters GFMS report, commissioned by the Silver Institute, forecasts a downturn in silver industrial demand this year to 454.4 million ounces, “although a recovery in 2013 will see these losses entirely recouped.

“…It should be of little surprise that use of silver in industrial applications slowed in 2012,” said the report. “Indeed the start of the year saw industrial offtake remain extremely weak in a number of key markets, following the steep drop of late-2011.”

“That said, the fact we are forecasting a decline appreciating 6% for the full year total indicates the extent of the recovery we expect to see in approach to year end. This is partly thanks to the fact that some market segments will outperform others, helping to limit the expected losses for 2012,” said GFMS.

The largest end-use of silver fabrication is in the electrical and electronics sector, which includes computers, televisions and cell phones as well as photovoltaics (PV). Of that projected industrial demand this year, 40 million ounces of silver is expected to be utilized by thick film solar cells, followed by the automotive industry, and PCs and laptops.

“A modest rebound is forecast for 2013 which should recoup the losses sustained in 2012,” said Thomson Reuters GFMS. “This will owe much to a new peak in China, while a jump in the Indian market will see the country post its second highest total on record.”

Looking ahead, the report anticipates a 6% rise in industrial silver demand to a new record high in 2014 of 511.6 million ounces, which will account for 57% of total silver fabrication in that year.

Meanwhile, Thomson Reuters GFMS calculates that industrial silver fabrication demand will average 483.3 million ounces annually between 2012 and 2014.

In their analysis, GFMS expects silver demand to continue rising in the automotive industry with 50 million silver ounces expected to be consumed in the industry this year.

Total silver demand in cell phones is anticipated to rise 3% this year to near 13 million ounces.

GFMS expects total silver demand in the computer industry to exceed 5 million ounces this year.

Last year, silver demand in PV reached some 60 million ounces last year. “Looking ahead we forecast that the rate of growth in silver demand will slow considerably from the average of 57% seen between 2005 and 2010,” said the report.

A free copy of the report is available at the following link: The Outlook for Silver Industrial Demand.