Citi Makes an Extraordinarily Bullish Case for Silver

Overvalued stocks, negative-yielding bonds, and higher prospects for inflation are just some of the reasons why the bank thinks prices could rise by 60%.

As Forbes contributor Tim Treadgold notes, for some investors, the silver market can be a difficult one to get excited about. The Hunt brothers’ scheme, which boiled over in 1980, left many wary of sudden upsurges in silver and what foundations they may rest on. Yet experts have been pointing out that the silver market is long overdue for exactly this kind of surge, and now, Citi has come forth with a price forecast that very much concurs.

With the gold/silver ratio still around 80, Treadgold argues that silver has plenty of catching up to do even after hitting a seven-year high earlier this year. Despite its roughly 40% gain so far, Citi’s team of analysts expects silver to do just that by climbing to $40 within the next 12 months. The climb would represent a more than 60% gain from current prices of around $24.

The team, whose members are well-versed in the metal’s dealings, cited numerous reasons for their decidedly bullish view. These should come in the form of heightened investor demand combining with a rising need for silver in industrial uses.

As Citi noted, many investors who can’t afford substantial positions in gold are looking towards silver as shelter from an increasingly troublesome global economic backdrop. Perhaps the most important among these is the trend of currency debasement, as Citi’s forex team said that $50 is another highly plausible target for the metal with $100 likewise emerging as a distinct possibility. Furthermore, both the equity and bond markets are urging investors to question their exposure. Whereas the issue of stock valuations being severely overblown is once again coming to the forefront, the persistent negative-yielding bond market has made individual and institutional investors alike reluctant to hold any sovereign debt. The overarching theme of inflation after historic monetary stimulus and promises of more of the same being on the way should likewise act as a powerful driver.

To Citi, the case for silver from an industrial demand standpoint looks to be just as strong. While a Biden presidential victory is often cited as being pro-silver due to the candidate’s green infrastructure plans, the trend of green energy is far from localized and has been gaining traction on the global stage.

A post-pandemic economic recovery would almost certainly play heavily into silver’s favor, as the team noted that around 80% of silver consumption is tied to GDP fluctuations, with 50% of it coming from manufacturing. On the flip side, the team said that there isn’t much downside to silver, listing $20 as a worst-case scenario. Noting that the metal is more eager to post gains than gold in the wake of bullish developments, Citi added that a surge in silver would be a far cry from that of 1980 and would instead more closely resemble the sustained gains seen between 2009 and 2011.

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