Silver Dethrones Gold Demand After Surpassing $30 an Ounce, Highest Level Since 2013

By Thea Felicity

May 17, 2024 03:09 PM EDT

Pandora Jewelry Event at World Trade Center Store
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 01: Andi Dorfman wears Pandora Jewelry during the Pandora Jewelry Event at World Trade Center Store on October 1, 2016 in New York City.
(Photo : Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Pandora)

While gold's record-setting rally has dominated headlines, silver is emerging as the real star, driven by strong financial and industrial demand.

According to Yahoo Finance, Silver has soared by over 25% this year, outpacing gold and becoming one of the best-performing major commodities. It currently takes about 80 ounces of silver to buy 1 ounce of gold, compared to the 20-year average of 68, highlighting silver's relative affordability.

As of Friday morning, May 17, spot silver rose 3.3% to $30.55 an ounce, its highest since February 2013, while gold increased by 1.2% to $2,405.18. 

The two metals typically move in tandem, offering similar hedging properties. However, silver has surged alongside gold, supported by central bank buying, retail interest in China, and expectations of lower US. interest rates.

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Why Silver Is Increasingly Popular Again

Today, silver has surged past $30 an ounce, reaching its highest level in over a decade amid solid demand, per Bloomberg. Climbed up to 29% this year, silver is outpacing gold and becoming a top-performing major commodity this month and for the rest of the year, as expected.

Silver's recent price increase is now influenced by two main factors: a favorable macroeconomic environment and a projected market deficit. A market deficit or shortage is when the supply of silver does not meet the demand, leading to scarcity and higher prices. At the same time, silver's dual role as a financial asset and industrial input, especially in clean-energy technologies like solar panels, is driving demand. The Silver Institute expects record usage of silver this year, leading to a fourth consecutive year of shortage, the second largest on record. 

The resurgence of the "meme stock" craze has contributed to silver's recent surge. This trend, where retail investors band together on social media to buy assets, has positively influenced silver's value. 

Although investors generally sell off their silver-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the sales of physical silver, such as coins and bars, have also increased.

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