NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 03/29/11 -- After touching 30 year highs recently, silver prices have pulled back. The recent selloff stems from a combination of profit taking and the idea that greater global economic stability will make the precious metals market less attractive as an investment. Silver, however, is as much a precious metal as it is an industrial metal, leading some in the analyst community to argue that an improving economy will lead to greater industrial demand for silver. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for the Silver Market and provides research reports on iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV) and Silver Wheaton Corporation (NYSE: SLW). Access to the full company reports can be found at:
A recent report released from The Silver Institute entitled "The Future of Silver Industrial Demand" estimates that the amount of silver used for industrial purposes is forecast to rise to 665.9 million ounces by 2015, which would be a 36 percent increase from the 487 million used in 2010.
The Silver Institute claims that at least half of the demand for silver is industrial with the metal being applied to batteries, brazing and soldering, bearings and electronics. New technologies in solar energy, water purification and medical instruments are expected to keep industrial demand for the metal surging going forward.
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The bulls who believe that silver prices will continue to surge may be inclined to look into silver miners. Investors in silver miners are banking on rising earnings, as silver prices rise, to provide value. Some miners sound confident that silvers run will continue and have started new mining ventures. However the sale of several silver sites may suggest that the industry peaked last year.
Silver Wheaton is a silver streamer, meaning it pays to finance a mine and subsequently gets the right to buy metals produced from that mine. Silver Wheaton's CEO, Peter Barnes, said in an interview with CNBC that silver prices could go through $50 in the next 2-3 years. For the fourth quarter of 2010 Silver Wheaton reported that its net earnings more than doubled to $123 million.
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