Americans, the biggest investors in silver in the last decade
Despite the doubts raised by the recent evolution of silver prices, investors highly appreciate this precious metal. Between 2010 and 2019, investors from just five countries (India, China, the United States, Germany, and Canada) purchased a total of 2,004 million ounces (62,300 tons) of bullion and coins.
As Steve St Angelo from the SRSrocco Report points out, the most active physical silver investors during the decade between 2010 and 2019 were Americans. The total amount of silver coins and ingots acquired by the country’s citizens rose to 929 million ounces (28,895 Mt).
The citizens of India acquired 615 million ounces (19,128 Mt) in that same period.
German investors rank as the third most active in terms of physical silver, with 265 million ounces (8,242 tonnes).
The fourth and fifth places are held by China and Canada, with 139 million ounces (4,323 tons) and 56 million ounces (1,742 tons).
The most surprising thing about this data is the figures for China and Canada. The Silver Institute and Metals Focus in the 2020 edition of the World Silver Survey reveal that the Royal Canadian Mint (Canada Mint) used around 26 million ounces (808.7 mt) of the white metal in the minting of official coins in 2019.
Chinese investors tend to prefer gold
According to the report, Canadian citizens only bought 5 million ounces (155.5 Mt) in bullion and silver coins. And most of them were Maple Leaves, probably purchased by Americans or other foreign investors.
Although China’s population exceeds 1.4 billion inhabitants, its citizens only bought 139 million ounces (4,323 Mt) in bullion and silver coins. This is probably because Chinese investors tend to prefer gold. Not surprisingly, China is the world’s largest producer and the largest consumer of this precious metal.
India has a population very similar to China. In contrast, though, it has invested almost four times more in silver during the same period. Furthermore, statistics show that Indian investors prefer bullion to silver coins. More than 90% of the 19,128 tons of silver purchased throughout the decade were in this decade.
Another striking fact is the amount of silver bullion and coins that German citizens have bought. In 2019, the amount of physical silver purchased by them was 32 million ounces (995 Mt). Both in bullion and in coins.
The Americans bought 48.2 million ounces (1,499 Tm) of silver in 2019; the Indians – 56.5 million (1,757 Mt), the Chinese – 6.2 million (192.8 Mt), and Canadians, 5 million ounces (155.5 Mt).
Silver sales could skyrocket again
Investment in silver bullion and coins last year was 186 million ounces (5,785 Mt). The number could see a further increase at the end of 2020. During the months of March and April, investors’ fears and their eagerness to seek refuge assets set off a buying fever. It wiped out the stocks of most precious metal traders.
According to Steve St Angelo, in the event of a second wave of global Covid-19 infections, the white metal sales could skyrocket again. This would further cause supply disruptions.
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