Quotes from bart Chilton....
"This legislation will impose position limits. They will be imposed"
"Our manipulation standard is broken. This law fixes it. It will allow us to put people in jail.
"They may have been able to contort markets, because the concentration of an individuals lagre position, whether it's 10% or 20% of a market, that can sway a market, and we don't want that"
"Disruptive Trading Practices" "The law is broken, and this bill fixes it"
Those numbers are from 2004! They are more than a little stale. Try these from 2009:
Also, the Silver Users Association is an association of users - a strange source. The numbers above are from the Silver Institute, the trade association of the miners, a much more typical source for numbers. From that page:
Coins and Medallions - 78.7m ounces
Other investment - 136.9m ounces.
Total Investment - 215.6m ounces.
Thus, there is significant investment going on. Excluding investment, mine output was 709.6m ounces and recycling contributed 165.7m ounces, or 875.3m ounces.
Other consumption -
Industrial applications - 352.9m ounces
Photography 82.9m ounces
Jewelry - 156.6m ounces
Silverware - 59.5m ounces
Total Non-Investment consumption - 651.9m ounces.
Thus there is a surplus of 223.4m ounces, excluding investment (also ignoring government sales and de-hedging/hedging which aren't that significant anymore), but the surplus is being scooped up by investors.
"Coins and Medals 41.1 Moz " Your numbers are way off. As usual, they under estimate investment demand.
This year we are on pace to sell 36 million Eagles, maybe more. Canada sells 7to 8 million Maple Leafs. Australia 3 million coins. China 1.5 million coins.
On top of that Bars are sold in great numbers for personal delivery. ETFs add 1000 ounce bars as part of investment demand, to the tune of millions of ounces, on top of all of that.
So you see, your numbers aren't even close.
Carl, the article in question originated with Seeking Alpha.com In the past I've gotten fairly straight forward information from this source. I went to my favorite source: The Silver Users Association.org and here is what you get:
In 2004, total fabrication fell 2% to a six-year low of 836.7Moz. This figure is more than the amount of newly mined silver (634.4 Moz), however, scrap metal accounts for approximately 25% of the world's consumable silver. Industrial demand has grown with the increasing use of electronics and electrical uses. From mirrors to paints, and dental alloys to coins, silver is used in numerous areas. Today industrial uses account for 44% of worldwide silver consumption.
Silver Demand Worldwide
Industrial 367.1 Moz
Photography 181 Moz
Jewelry & Silverware 247.5 Moz
Coins and Medals 41.1 Moz
Silver Demand in the United States
Industrial 94.2 Moz
Photography 55.2 Moz
Jewelry & Silverware 15.4 Moz
Coins and Medals 15.5 Moz
In 2004 alone, 634.4 Moz of silver were mined. Of global mine production, 30% was from primary mines and the other 70% was generated as a by-product of lead, zinc, copper and gold mining. Primary mines produced 188.5Moz in 2004, which is a 9% increase from 2003. Secondary sources (scrap) supplied the world with an estimated 181.1 Moz in 2004.
The top five silver producing countries in 2004 were Mexico (99.2 Moz), Peru (98.4 Moz), Australia (71.9 Moz), China (63.8 Moz), and Poland (43.8 Moz). The United States is ranked 8th in the world with an annual output of 40.2 million ounces. U.S. mines account for roughly 6.5% of the total "new" world production. Over the last five years, U.S. mining has decreased output by 37%.
Unlike twenty years ago when coins, ornaments, jewelry & silverware accounted for less than 10% of the silver consumption, today, those areas make up 30% (288.6 Moz) collectively. Commemorative coin minting is mostly responsible for a 15% rise in coins and medal fabrication. Coins and medals demand have increased 36.5% since 1995. Global manufacturing of coins & medals rose to its highest total since 1994.
In 2004 the photography industry consumed 19% (181 Moz). Although the photography industry is one of the largest consumers of silver, demand has fallen for the fifth consecutive year; down 6% in 2004 alone. Analysts are attributing the decreased demand for silver in the photography industry to digital technology competition.
Demand by the jewelry and silverware industries decreased by 10%. Rising silver prices have had a negative effect on India's jewelry and silverware demand. From 2003 to 2004 the price of silver rose over 36%.
© 2005-2010 Silver Users Association Inc., All Rights Reserved
Carl, Here's the article you are anxious to read. I'm sorry I didn't source it in my post. I think it provides a primmer for anyone who's just now looking at silver investing as a necessary hedge for safety and profit.
7 Reasons Why Silver Could Soar
Eric Dutram, ETF Database
July 29, 2010
With consumer confidence plunging and governments around the world racking up seemingly unpayable bills, many investors have sought refuge outside of fiat currencies in order to help protect some of their assets from the ravages of inflation, which is sure to come eventually. Almost by default, investors have piled into gold which has seen its price soar to $1250/oz. before dropping back to the $1160/oz. level it is at currently. This recent pullback has left gold investors will an interesting dilemma: buy more assuming that the economy or the dollar collapse, or sell as the economy picks back up on the back of solid corporate earnings in a variety of sectors.
Although gold remains an excellent hedge against failing currencies, it does not offer the same upside in good times that its cousin silver does which is extremely important in these uncertain times. This is because gold has virtually no industrial uses, while silver finds its way into a host of critical applications, ensuring that the metal will be in demand no matter if a boom or a bust is in our immediate future. This is especially important in today's economic climate since the economy could seemingly turn in either direction at any time; there is plenty of data to support both sides of the debate. Due to this conflict, we believe that silver could make an interesting choice for investors who are concerned about the world's fiscal condition [see Silver ETFs: A Better Investment Than Gold?].
Not only does silver have a variety of uses, but demand is currently outstripping supply. In fact, it is estimated that for every 1.5 ounces of silver that are consumed, 1 oz. is produced, suggesting that as time goes on, silver only becomes more in demand for its multitude of uses. So while gold receives the bulk of the attention because of its high price and rarity, an excellent case can be made for investing in silver as well. Below, we profile the seven best reasons why demand for this metal is likely to stay high, no matter what the economic situation [also read Five ETFs For A Double Dip].
SEE BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF DEMAND USAGE
There is no silver surplus after investment, unless you count SLV twice.
Another 111,000 net ounces of silver left the COMEX Monday. A few more weeks or months of this, and it's a whole new ballgame.
Unlike gold, there are no large Central Bank holdings of silver to be dumped on the market.
A physical shortage of silver is inevitable. I thought it was due in 2012, but hmmmm......