Silver Weekly: Industrial Demand And Its Implications For Prices


Welcome to Orchid’s Silver weekly report, through which we want to ship my common ideas on the silver market by means of the iShares® Silver Belief (SLV).

SLV seeks to trace the efficiency of silver spot costs by bodily holding silver bars in England or New York.

The physically-backed methodology utilized by SLV prevents traders from getting damage by the present contango construction of the Comex silver ahead curve (ahead>spot), opposite to a futures contract-based methodology.

Supply: Buying and selling View

SLV seems to have stabilized because the begin of Might, partly benefiting from pleasant macro forces following the escalation of the US-China commerce conflict.

Though ETF investor sentiment has improved lately, we consider that rising US-China commerce tensions may undermine the economic demand for silver, which accounts for almost 60% of bodily silver demand.

As silver is extra cyclical than gold, we consider that SLV may proceed to underperform relative to GLD within the coming months.

Speculative positioning

Supply: CFTC

Based mostly on the newest Dedication of Merchants report (COTR) supplied by the CFTC, non-commercials turned web brief Comex silver within the week to Might 7, for a second time this yr.

Non-commercials lower their web spec size by 481 tonnes from +332 tonnes (1% of OI) on April 30 to -149 tonnes (zero% of OI) on Might 7. This was completely the results of contemporary shorting (516 tonnes), whereas longs lifted barely their publicity by 35 tonnes.

Speculative sentiment towards silver stays destructive whereas that towards gold appears to have improved because of the escalation within the US-China commerce dispute (producing stronger safe-haven demand).

Though the present silver’s spec positioning is already bearish (present web spec size: -149 tonnes vs historic common: +Four,131 tonnes), the speculative neighborhood may grow to be much more bearish and maintain a web brief place as giant as in September 2018 (-Four,506 tonnes, as proven within the desk above).

Implications for SLV: In such a bearish case, silver spot costs would fall markedly (~10%, in our view), which might in flip push decrease the worth of SLV.

Funding positioning

Supply: Orchid Analysis

ETF traders lifted their silver holdings by 26 tonnes final week, pushing the month-on-month tempo of web inflows to 166 tonnes from 152 tonnes every week in the past. ETF silver holdings rose for a fifth straight week

Within the yr so far, ETF traders stay web sellers of 311 tonnes.

Supply: Orchid Analysis

ETF traders have boosted their silver shopping for because the begin of Might. That is due, in our view, to the more and more attention-grabbing worth proposition that gives silver in comparison with gold.

The gold/silver value ratio is at ~87, at its highest stage since 2009 and much above its historic common (2001 to current) of 64.

Supply: Bloomberg

As traders grow to be conscious of this mispricing, they change their curiosity from gold (whose ETF holdings have moved sequentially decrease amid a fragile sentiment) to silver.

Implications for SLV: Silver ETF inflows are pushing the financial demand for silver greater, thereby lifting silver spot costs and SLV.

Industrial demand and correlation with silver costs

Though silver is a safe-haven asset and due to this fact tends to carry out effectively when monetary circumstances grow to be turbulent, it is also a cyclical asset resulting from its industrial demand.

In line with the Silver Institute, industrial demand represented almost 60% of bodily silver demand.

Supply: Silver Institute

We acquired an attention-grabbing remark by a Searching for Alpha member final week after the publication of our earlier Silver Weekly (see: Silver Weekly: Underperformance Seemingly To Proceed On Weak Elementary Demand, Might 7, 2019).

As a reminder, it’s statistically appropriate to seek advice from “correlation” once we cope with two stationary sequence. However as a result of the silver value and basic silver demand aren’t stationary, “co-movement” is extra acceptable when describing their relationship.

Apparently, if we take a look at the year-on-year modifications within the silver spot value and the year-on-year modifications within the world manufacturing PMI, these two sequence grow to be stationary and due to this fact, a correlation evaluation may be made.

Supply: Bloomberg

We estimate that the correlation between the year-on-year change within the silver spot value and the worldwide manufacturing PMI is +zero.29, a transparent proof that industrial manufacturing dynamics (and due to this fact industrial fabrication for silver) have a basic impression on silver spot costs.

Worryingly, the escalation of the US-China commerce dispute may push industrial manufacturing progress beneath pattern, which in flip can be destructive for industrial demand for silver, silver spot costs, and thus SLV.


Though we acknowledge that SLV has grow to be more and more low-cost judging by the gold/silver value ratio metric, we’d not be stunned to see silver persevering with to underperform contemplating that 1) silver is extra a cyclical asset than gold (and thus extra negatively impacted by the US-China commerce dispute) and a pair of) industrial demand for silver might be negatively impacted by US-China commerce tensions.

Disclosure: I/now we have no positions in any shares talked about, and no plans to provoke any positions inside the subsequent 72 hours. I wrote this text myself, and it expresses my very own opinions. I’m not receiving compensation for it (apart from from Searching for Alpha). I’ve no enterprise relationship with any firm whose inventory is talked about on this article.

Extra disclosure: Our analysis has not been ready in accordance with the authorized necessities designed to advertise the independence of funding analysis. Due to this fact, this materials can’t be thought-about as funding analysis, a analysis suggestion, nor a private suggestion or recommendation, for regulatory functions.

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