Reuters reports that February’s social-media driven rush to the paper silver market might not have lived up to expectations, but it nonetheless shone a light on a metal that has no shortage of tailwinds going for it. The frenzied army of day traders who hoped to bring silver’s price to three or four-digit figures came and went. But some of them have stuck around, bolstering a growing and diverse congregation of silver investors.
Who’s holding silver now?
New fans of silver include retail buyers who see plenty of appeal in the metal past any short-term buy signals. Holdings in the largest silver fund rose by 45% last year to reach more than 1 billion ounces, the highest amount on record. Individual investors and money managers alike were quick to jump on the silver wagon amid unprecedented panic and concerns over currency debasement after a historic monetary stimulus.
Most of these investors have held onto their silver, joining the ranks of Wall Street giants who have been stockpiling silver due to its abundant uses. Goldman Sachs’ hoard has continuously emerged as the most prominent one, with its analysts calling it their favorite metal for both economic and industrial reasons.
Where are silver prices going?
While silver hit an 11-year low of $11.62 as industrial activity slowed to a crawl in March, it appears the course is being reversed. Besides the recovery from the manufacturing sector, silver’s industrial case continues to be bolstered by a push towards green infrastructure. While this might not do much for silver’s outlook in the short-term, both the U.S. and China have committed to reaching carbon neutrality over the next few decades, with the Asian nation sporting a five-year green infrastructure plan that has captured the attention of many.
This leaves short-term price predictions which could swing either way, but are nonetheless very much aligned in silver’s favor at the moment. The Silver Institute forecasts an average silver price of $30 for 2021, just short of its current $28 valuation. Given silver’s known volatility and taking into account that the year has only begun, this could very well translate to some explosive price action to the upside over the coming quarters.
The latest Commitments of Traders Report shows that money managers, by and large, remain bullish on silver’s prospects. For the most part, retail investors are quick to buy into silver dips and far more reluctant to take profits. Combined with the influx of new investors and lots of favor from old ones, February’s frenzy may turn out to be the first of many interesting developments in the silver market.