U.S. demand for silver continued to remain strong as imports surged higher in September after a decline in August. However, the opposite was true for India as silver imports during the same month collapsed to an all-time low. What a difference in just a few years as India imported nearly 500 metric tons on average a month last year.
According to the data from GoldChartsRUs.com, India’s silver imports in September fell to only 11 metric tons (mt) compared to 169 mt during the same month last year. That’s a 93% decline year-over-year. Interestingly, during July last year, India imported an average of 33 mt of silver A DAY. However, in September this year, it was a total of only 11 mt. Gosh, that’s a tad bit more than 350,000 oz. What’s going on? Of course, the pandemic likely was part of the reason for the decline in silver imports, but the silver price rise to an average of $27-$28 during September likely curtailed buying by savvy Indian investors.
While India’s silver imports nearly dried up in September, it was a totally different story for the United States. Total silver imports jumped to 745 mt in September, up from 524 mt in August. When be put India and U.S. silver imports side-by-side, we can see a huge difference.
The United States imported 66 times more silver than India in September. In just the past three months (JUL-SEP), U.S. silver imports totaled 2,309 mt, or 74 million oz. As we can see, the U.S. has imported roughly 2.5 times more silver than India during the first three-quarters of the year. The majority of U.S. silver imports were in bullion form.
The next chart shows just the U.S. silver bullion imports for Jan-Sep.
As mentioned in a previous Silver Subscriber’s post, U.S. silver bullion imports surged to a record high of 988 mt in July. Then they fell to 456 mt in August and rebounded again in September to 660 mt. Total U.S. silver bullion imports for Jan-Sep are 4,270 mt, or 137 million oz.
Here is a breakdown of the top ten countries that exported silver bullion to the United States during September. The U.K. was the largest at 159 mt, followed by Mexico (140 mt), Canada (117 mt), and South Korea (93 mt) rounded out the top four. Interestingly, the U.S. received silver bullion from both Kazakhstan (38 mt) and Uzbekistan (19 mt) for the first time since I started researching the data.
I believe silver investment demand will be strong again in 2021, maybe even stronger as the economic fundamentals continue to deteriorate in the United States and abroad. I also see a major market correction taking place in either Q1 or Q2 2021. While the precious metals prices may fall with the broader markets, this will likely motivate MORE PHYSICAL BUYING of gold and silver bullion products.
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