U.K. Royal Mint sees 540% increase in silver bar demand
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(Kitco News) - The global precious metals market continues to see insatiable demand for physical silver.
Thursday, U.K. Royal Mint reported a 540% increase in the bullion silver bar sales compared to last year.
The Royal Mint also said that its one-ounce silver Britannia 2021 coin saw sales increase 100% between March and April, compared to last year.
"We experienced high demand in 2020 as investors flocked to safe-haven assets during the height of the pandemic, but this demand has continued into 2021 as more people realize the benefits of precious metals," said Andrew Dickey, divisional director of precious metals at the mint. "Silver has a wide appeal because it has an intrinsic value as a finite resource and offers a significantly lower price than gold - making it accessible for more customers."
Physical demand for silver took off in February this year after a group of traders, organized through social media, tried and failed to induce a short-squeeze in the marketplace. However, since then, analysts have said that silver demand remains strong, with investors looking to capitalize on the precious metals industrial demand as the global economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other analysts have said that silver remains an attractive monetary metal and hedge against rising inflation pressures.
"Many analysts predict a bright future for silver for the remainder of 2021. Accommodative monetary and fiscal policies - traditional drivers for demand in precious metals - are expected to remain in play as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic," said Dickey. "Furthermore, silver's use in emerging green technologies have also contributed to the positive sentiment towards the metal."
Strong investment demand for silver pushed prices to nearly a 2-month high last week to $28 an ounce. Although silver has fallen from its recent highs, the precious metal is still holding critical support. July silver futures last traded at $27.05 an ounce, down 0.5% on the day.
The Royal Mint said that this has rapid growth in the precious metals market over recent years. It is now the primary producer of bullion coins in the U.K.
The Royal Mint also said that it offers a range of digital investment platforms which enable investors to buy and sell fractional gold, silver and platinum without taking custody of the metal. All digital holdings are backed by physical bullion bars, which are stored in The Royal Mint's vault, it said.