Global gold, silver production to hit fresh records this year
Global gold and silver mine production will hit record highs in 2014, according to a report published by London-based precious metals consultancy Metal Focus.
In its Gold and Silver Mining Focus 2014, the researchers say that after last year’s supply increase, they expect both precious metals to continue benefiting from ramp-up and start-up of projects coming on stream in the next months.
China, the world's largest gold producer, was the main booster of bullion supply last year. The figure climbed to new highs of 2,982 tonnes, up over 4% from 2012. Silver output, in turn, climbed by 3.4% and hit a record high of 819.6 million ounces, compared to 792.3 million the year before. This was the 11th consecutive increase, driven by a number of additions in several of the world's largest silver producing countries, including Peru, Mexico and China.
Uncertain 2015 for gold
While the report keeps its upbeat tone when referring to silver, it turns gloomy when talking about the gold’s supply outlook, saying bullion production is likely to enter a period of “secular decline” next year.
In terms of prices, the report said that following a poor 2013, the first four months of 2014 suggest that attitudes towards gold and silver among investors have shifted. They see the market moving away from the one-sided selling to a more balanced perspective.
"[2014 will be] a year broadly of consolidation for gold and silver. We believe the high for the year is already behind us, while on the downside, further price weakness from current levels is possible," it said.
For gold, therefore, a brief drop to around $1,100 could not be ruled out, the report added.
The same is expected for silver, mostly governed by gold's moves. They grey shiny metal’s full year average, say the experts, may fall just short of $20.