SILVER USAGE OUTPACES SUPPLY

The world's silver miners see a shiny future ahead. World silver fabrication demand has grown nearly 28 percent over the past five years. This has pushed global consumption to an estimated 505 million ounces in 1990, according to the Silver Institute's annual World Silver Survey.

The industry expects silver fabrication demand to increase 3.3 percent annually in this decade. If so, that will outpace an anticipated increase in the supply of silver of 2 percent each year. Experts say the surplus of silver on the world market already has been almost erased.

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