Silver exchange traded funds (ETFs) have been outshining gold lately as the precious metals’ price ratio has fallen to the lowest level in 27 years, according to an industry report.

The gold-to-silver price ratio has dropped below 40 to its lowest reading since the 1980s.

“Silver prices hit their highest level in over three decades, and have seen more than triple the returns of gold over the past week, as markets have become more sanguine about the impact of Japan’s earthquake on global growth and industrial demand for silver,” ETF Securities said in a March 29 newsletter.

“Further declines in the [gold-to-silver price] ratio are likely heavily dependent on the continued health of the global industrial recovery given that around 40% of silver’s annual demand is from the industrial sector vs. around 11% for gold,” according to the weekly newsletter.

The $13.4 billion iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) was up 21% so far this year through March 29, while SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) was flat, according to Morningstar. [Are Silver ETFs Shining Too Brightly?]