New technological applications, largely from the solar industry, are creating a ‘high and stable’ requirement for silver says a new report by Merchant Research & Consulting. Increases in the manufacture of products such as semiconductors and cable sheaths, which contain small amounts of silver, has meant the precious metal is in high demand and driven investment into its procurement.
The report, titled ‘Silver Market Review’, collates information from global, national and regional solar industries, key information includes – production and consumption rates, trade activity and pricing statistics. The report aims to extrapolate previous industry trends as well as predicting future market behaviour, up to the year 2017.
Peru is currently the largest supplier, producing 17.7% of the world’s raw silver. Mexico follows closely behind with an estimated 16.3%, while China produces 13% of the world’s supply.
Silver paste is found in approximately 90% of all crystalline silicon PV cells, serving to collect and concentrate electrons for the current and transport them out of the module for power production. A typical solar panel contains just 20 grams of silver. In the next 10 years, the amount of silver used by the solar industry is expected to rise to 84.5 million ounces, from 64 million ounces in 2010.