Commodities

Barclays have today released a note on the outlook for the silver price; at present the pressures on silver are to the downside.

Suki Cooper at Barclays notes that, "concerns around economic growth leaves industrial demand vulnerable and prices exposed to the downside."

A host of indicators point to weak industrial demand for silver.

On a product basis, semi-manufactured silver continued to decline in February, while silver powder and jewellery imports recovered but are still down for the year to date.

Semiconductor sales reached a record in 2011 despite market uncertainty, y/y growth was only 0.4% and sales started to slow towards the end of last year and this February marked the eighth consecutive month of weaker y/y sales and the fourth straight month of softer m/m sales.

"The weakness in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami was initially offset by growth elsewhere, but it was subsequently exacerbated by the decline in  demand in Europe which continues to persist this year," notes Cooper.

Silver imports into China are down by a third y/y for the YTD, with exports at their lowest since the start of our database in January 2005, but China remains a net importer of silver.