The iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) and the ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSEArca: SIVR) have struggled this year thanks to the stronger dollar and speculation the Federal Reserve will soon increase interest rates.
Silver is used in many industrial applications, but industrial demand is diminishing as global growth, notably China, begins to slow. Industrial demand for silver dipped 0.5% last year on lower demand from Europe and North America.
“With prices still down 21% so far this year, silver may look cheap. Some analysts warn, however, that while the metal may have seen the worst of its declines, there are not many catalysts that could spark a rally. Silver recently traded at $14.505 a troy ounce,” reports Ira Iosebashvili for Barron’s.
Barclays analysts project silver prices will continue to decline 20% in the coming year. Last month “HSBC lowered its 2015 silver price forecast to $15.60 from $17.05 per ounce and its 2016 forecast to $16.90 from $18.25. It lowered its 2015 forecast for platinum to $1,126 from $1,170 per ounce and its 2016 forecast to $1,235 from $1,350. The bank reiterated that it expects gold prices to bounce back to $1,205 per ounce by the end of the year on emerging market buying,” according to the Economic Times.
“Some still expect the silver market to recover in the coming years on account of growing demand for silver in the industrial sector or slower growth in production (on account of the current low prices). Others may need a silver financial instrument to hedge their silver inventory,” according to a Seeking Alpha post.