Teresa Matich • April 28, 2016
The price of silver per ounce has been on a tear in recent weeks, and no doubt, that has many investors wondering just how high silver can go.
Silver prices hit an 11-month high in April, considerably outperforming the gold price. According to Commerzbank, the silver price per ounce has benefited from a weaker US dollar, strong ETF inflows and purchases from speculative investors. While silver bugs are no doubt happy to see the price of silver per ounce on the rise, the firm suggested in its most recent note that “correction potential has built up in the near-term.”
What is the price of silver per ounce right now? At close of day on Wednesday, the white metal was sitting at $17.21 per ounce, up 0.47 percent for the day. Since the start of the year, the silver price has risen 22.23 percent.
Silver wasn’t doing too well at the start of the year, however. As Commerzbank noted in its report, the gold-silver ratio was at its highest since February 2008 in the first two months of this year. That was largely due to silver being priced too low relative to gold. Thus, the firm sees the relative strength of the price of silver per ounce as of late as a “catch-up effect.”
A weaker US dollar has buoyed gold prices so far this year. The US Federal Reserve once again opted to leave interest rates unchanged this week, providing support for both precious metals.
Where is the price of silver per ounce headed?
There’s plenty to consider when looking ahead at the future for the price of silver per ounce:
- ETF inflows; As mentioned above, the metal has seen strong ETF inflows—240 tons in the first two months of 2016 and 185 tons in February alone, according to Commerzbank. However, inflows slowed to just 60 tons in March.
- Correction potential; Commerzbank also pointed out that net long positions are currently worth 10,600 tons of silver. That might sound like good news for the price of silver for ounce, but as the firm states, “this has also generated considerable potential for correction if money managers were to take profits and close their long positions.”
- A boon for miners; To be sure, a higher silver price would be welcome for many long-suffering silver miners. As Commerzbank notes, a low silver price per ounce has made primary silver production “hardly profitable at all.” However, that scenario changes at the current silver price, meaning more supply could come back online.
- Higher demand; Of course, beyond its investment appeal, silver has a number of industrial applications as well. On this front, demand from the photovoltaic sector is expected to surge by 10 percent, driving industrial silver demand to its highest level in five years.
Overall, while Commerzbank sees a potential correction for the silver price in the near term, the firm does see additional upside for silver in the medium to long term. Commerzbank has upped its forecast for the price of silver per ounce to $18 from $17 previously.