As of Feb. 22, SLV had lost $107.3 million in assets this year, but SIVR had seen inflows of almost $9 million. Investors have been displaying more enthusiasm for silver miners ETFs. For example, combined year-to-date inflows to the Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSEArca: SIL) and the PureFunds ISE Junior Silver ETF (NYSEArca: SILJ) are about $71 million. SIL and SILJ are two of this year’s best-performing non-leveraged ETFs, as they were last year.

Looking ahead, the quickly expanding photovoltaic panel or solar industry could continue to drive silver demand. Installations and investment in solar panels, which incorporate silver for its electrical conductivity, are at record levels, reports Henry Sanderson for the Financial Times.

Bolstering the appeal for silver, the precious metal enjoys heavy industrial demand that benefits from an expanding global economy. Over 50% of global demand for silver comes from industries like chemicals, medicine and technological appliances.

“Silver is surging amid demand for haven assets and bets that industrial use will rise at a time of tightening mine supply. While investors in commodity ETFs have shied away the metal in favor of gold, hedge funds are reaping the gains. Money managers built their silver net-long positions every week this year, taking holdings to the highest since September,” according to Bloomberg.

For more information on the silver market, visit our silver category.