The iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) and ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSEArca: SIVR) are up about 5% year-to-date, putting the silver exchange traded funds well behind their gold counterparts. However, some commodities market observers believe silver will be a winner among precious metals in 2018.

Silver could get another boost if gold prices start rebounding in earnest. Indian demand is vital for gold because the country is the second-largest buyer of the yellow metal behind China. India, one of the world’s largest gold consumers, could be set to lower its import tax on bullion, which could be major catalyst for gold prices.

“For the second year in a row, people -and commodity analysts such as those at TD Securities and the Bank of Montreal- are being bullish on silver. This is according to a survey conducted by precious metals retailer Kitco among the readers of its website,” reports Mining.com.

Moreover, unlike gold, silver sees much higher industrial demand. The precious metal enjoys heavy industrial demand that benefits from an expanding global economy. On a technical basis, silver looks appealing, as well.

“Some 151 people, or 39% of the sample of 386 participants, chose silver as 2018’s most likely outperformer, with gold taking the second place with 27% of the votes, followed by copper with 25%, palladium with 5% and platinum with 4%,” according to Mining.com.

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