Chart Of The Week: Silver Mine Production Surges, Boosted By 17% Increase In US Output

May 13, 2013

Opinions vary as to whether the increase in silver output can continue.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that U.S. silver mine production jumped to 2.97 million troy ounces in February, up 17 percent from a year ago. According to the Silver Institute, the U.S. is only the ninth-largest silver-producing country in the world, with output totaling a fifth of the largest producer, Mexico.

 

Top Silver-Producing Countries in 2012

 

However, the rise in U.S. production is reflective of a broad increase in silver output around the world. GFMS estimates that global mine production in 2012 totaled 787 million troy ounces (24,478 metric tons), up 4 percent from 2011.

Opinions vary as to whether the rise in silver production can continue. Van Eck’s Joe Foster does not see the increase as sustainable (see Van Eck’s Joe Foster On The New Two-Faced Gold Investor & When Silver’s Production Surge Will End), while Jeff Christian of CPM Group sees the increase continuing (see Jeff Christian: Gold & Silver Lows Are In; US Mint Silver Shortages Are Misleading).

 

Silver Mine Production (Annual)

Silver Mine Production

 

While much has been made of the demand side of the equation when it comes to gold and silver, the supply side is important as well, and bears watching.

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