INDIAN SILVER IMPORTS: Near Record At A Quarter Of Global Mine Supply

It looks like at least one country is still taking advantage of the extremely low paper price of silver.  From information just released, India continues to import a near record amount of silver in 2014.  Even though silver imports slumped in June compared to last year, demand is still extremely strong.

According to Mineweb’s article on India Silver Imports:

Market sources added that import of silver in the calendar year of 2013 was around 5,819 tonnes, the highest ever. The previous high was in 2008, when import was 5,048 tonnes. However, despite the fall in June, sources said the first half of 2014 has seen silver imports at 2,882 tonnes, as against 2,980 tonnes last year, for the first six months of 2013.

As the article states, India imported 2,882 tonnes of silver in the first six months of the year, down slightly from the previous record set last year at 2,980 tonnes.  We must remember, the Indian government enacted restrictions on gold imports in 2013… forcing its citizens to purchase silver instead.

On top of this, we had the huge smash in the paper price of silver from a high of $32 in the beginning of 2013, to a low of $18 in June.  Again, even with falling silver imports in June, total silver imports are expected to reach 5,000 tonnes in 2014.

Just to put into perspective the amount of Indian silver imports, let’s look at the following chart:

Indian Silver Imports vs Global Mine Supply

By converting 2,880 tonnes of silver, we get 92.6 million ounces of the shiny metal.  According to the 2014 World Silver Survey, global silver production exceeded 800 million ounces in 2013 (not by much).  Thus, India imported 23%, nearly a quarter of global mine supply.

This is a substantial amount of silver when we compare it to their domestic mine supply.  The chart below is from the Silver Institute website, provided by data published at Thomson Reuters GFMS, the same organization that releases the World Silver Survey and ironically…. one of the new custodians for the SILVER FIX.

Top 20 Silver Country Producers

If we scroll down the chart, yes down below Kazakhstan, you will see that India ranks thirteenth in the world at 12.1 million oz of annual silver production.  With a population of over 1.2 billion, it’s no wonder India needs to import silver to meet the demand of its citizens.

Total annual Indian silver production represents just one-tenth of one percent of the population of the country.  What do you think will happen to silver demand in India when its citizens realize their Rupee is just another lousy fiat currency?

Furthermore, to add even more perspective on the subject of silver mine supply vs. silver imports, I decided to include the United States into the equation.  Using data from the Silver Institute, the USGS and information from the Mineweb article linked above, I threw together the chart below.

Indan & U.S. Silver Mine Supply vs Imports 2013

Last year, India produced 12.1 million ounces of silver, while it imported 15 times that amount at 187 million oz.  The United States performed a little better in the  mining arena by producing 35 million ounces versus 163.3 million oz of silver imports…. nearly a 5 to 1 ratio.

If we combine the two… we come up with some startling results.   Total silver mine supply from these two countries equals 47 million ounces compared to the staggering 350 million oz in silver imports.  Basically, India and the United States imported nearly half (44%) of total global silver mine supply in 2013.

And.. if that isn’t eye-opening enough, Indian and U.S. domestic mine supply only represent 13% of their total silver imports.  Which means, they import a hell of a lot of silver.  Of course these countries export some of this imported silver as finished products… but still, it represents a substantial amount.

So what happens when the world finally experiences a severe heart-attack of its Fiat Monetary System?  Yes, I realize there are still individuals out there who believe the U.S. Dollar is as good as gold and we will continue BAU – Business As Usual for another 100 years.

Unfortunately, the degree of negative geopolitical, financial and economic events are speeding up rapidly and it’s only a matter of time before the horror movie, NIGHTMARE ON MAIN STREET opens at a town near you.

Do we really believe top silver producing countries like Mexico and Peru as well as many other South American countries will continue to give away their silver for a mere pittance when the Dollar finally loses its World Reserve status?

Investors around the world have no idea of the bargain they are receiving by purchasing one of the best future stores of wealth…. at rock bottom prices.  This may seem like the same ole WORN-OUT rhetoric to precious metal investors who are presently underwater with some of their gold and silver holdings; however the focus has always been on ACQUIRING OUNCES… not TRADING or valuing them in a fiat currency that gets closer to going EXTINCT each passing day.

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14 Comments on "INDIAN SILVER IMPORTS: Near Record At A Quarter Of Global Mine Supply"

  1. Steve, great commentary. Keep up the good work!

  2. Great stuff, Steve, as always. Have a good day, and keep it up!

  3. Steve:
    just a sample of the outrageous badly ‘researched’ hysteria going on out there on NG, LNG, shipments, etc.
    it doesn’t even rate as warmed-over dog vomit, it’s so chock full of blatant lies & impossibilites!
    LNG Could Overthrow Russia’s Gas Monopoly in Europe. Natural Gas sells in Europe at 3-4 times the price it sells for in the USA. However the latest development in the natural gas industry could put a hold on the monopoly Russia has been holding over the European states. It’s called Liquefied Natural Gas, or LNG, and it’s the real opportunity in natural gas for investors. LNG is particularly interesting as it relates to all the hubbub that’s resulted from the joint crisis in Ukraine and Russia.

    Natural gas is chilled to -259°, at which point it becomes a liquid 600 times more dense than gas. That allows companies to efficiently ferry gas around the world in large, special-built tanker ships. LNG, thus, gives Europe the opportunity to get out from under the Russian threats, and it negates any future worries about a lack of natural gas in the winter.

    • DaleFromCalgary | July 23, 2014 at 6:45 pm |

      Latest development? LNG has been around for decades. At $4 per gigajoule, who is going to build the infrastructure to ship LNG? Right now my company is burning NG for electricity because it doesn’t pay to ship it by pipeline for home heating. The netback in Alberta is only one or two dollars per gigajoule, but if used for electricity it is about $7.

      If an export infrastructure is built, I can see NG prices going to $10. That would immediately cause a demand collapse among industrial users, not to mention screaming from homeowners when they get their heating or electricity bills. Not to mention a reversion to coal, which will upset environmentalists.

  4. Steve

    Crazy world. The USA, a major net importer of silver sets the price lower on the COMEX and gets Mexico and Peru to sell their supply at these suppressed prices. Crazy.

    After a while you don’t feel sorry for the miners.


    • I do feel sorry for the Mexican & South American mine workers. If silver were selling for $100 per physical ounce, which is closer to a non-manipulated free market price, perhaps the miners would earn more take-home pay for hard and often dangerous work. So the manipulation has far-reaching effects.

      • David

        I was referring to the mining companies, not the workers. Agree that a proper price for the metals would insure the workers a better quality of life. This was my point. The USA markets push the price of silver lower (which we produce a rather small amount) which allows us to import more. Makes no sense to me. Same holds for the oil market. Saudi Arabia is a price taker, not a price setter, even though they dominate the world oil market. Again, makes no sense to let the USA market set the price for oil.


        • It is another form of domination or hegemony; stripping a country who needs income of their non-renewable natural resources for less than an open fair market price, while the manipulators skim profits on the short/long contracts.

  5. Read your piece on silver. Really well done and informative. I’ve been reading you of late and I would like to bestow upon you the handle of STEVERINO. the original was ahead of his time,funny and very talented. None other than Steve Allen. So with your permission thats how I will refer to you, unless of course you object. Thanks for sharing your work.

  6. If India can import this amount of Silver where is the shortage we are all told exists???

    • Good point. I don’t think there is a shortage yet. That is because there is so little investor purchasing of silver at this time compared to almost any other asset.

  7. “Do we really believe top silver producing countries like Mexico and Peru as well as many other South American countries will continue to give away their silver for a mere pittance when the Dollar finally loses its World Reserve status?”

    Hadn’t thought of that; good point.

    I’d guess less than 5% of Americans know what “dollar as the world’s currency reserve status” means. What do you think Steve?

    For those who didn’t see this article on the topic I recommend it:

    I doubt any publication in the U.S. could print such an article without some sort of consequence. Can’t have people waking up now can we?

  8. Sliver to ZERO!

    After 3 years of endless rivers of toxic useless howling drivel spewed by all the so-called top tier “gurus”, (and amazingly, none of them have been driven out of business yetl–why is that?) i’m more than entitled to a free prediction that could turn out to actually be worth something.

    This is actually Captain Hook’s idea, & it has served him well, completely contrary to the hysteria by the sickening shills.

    FIRST big downgap has been filled today; next to fill is a big gap 105- 103, then at 107 it’ll be completely filled.$SPX:SLV&p=D&yr=0&mn=6&dy=0&i=t64335441103&r=1406224762903

  9. Although this is good news, I hope it doesn’t foretell a slowing in gold sales. We need the indians back in the game to push the cartel into making a move. They want to be able to sit back and pull the strings, we cant let them.
    This guy is one of the very few advisors trying to wake people up. Trying to give him a boost.

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