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by on February 8, 2022  in Investing /
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And how does one predict the future silver price anyway? That’s a good question, because it turns out that forecasting the shiny metal is different than predicting where a stock or even other metals are headed.

I’ve compiled silver price predictions from a number of analysts, both inside and outside the precious metals industry. I’ll then give you the secret to determining where it’s headed, the three factors to predict its price, and finally my predictions for 2022 and the next five years.

This will be fun, so let’s jump in!

Bulls and Bears and Turtles, Oh My!

Like most predictions, the ones for silver in 2022 vary. Some are bullish, some are bearish, and some see only slow-moving change.

Silver averaged $25.03 in 2021, and ended the year at $23.08. Here’s where a dozen analysts think the price is headed this year…

2022 Silver Price Prediction Chart
You can see the great disparity, the extremes being it will average 23% lower ($17.60), or climb as much as 116% ($50) this year. I’ve seen other predictions that have even higher and lower price targets, showing there really isn’t a consensus about where silver is headed this year.

So who’s right? How does one make a reasonable prediction where silver is headed?

To answer those questions we first have to understand that silver is…

The Hybrid Metal, with Dual Purposes and Dual Catalysts

Silver serves two primary functions. It’s a precious metal with a monetary role, and also an industrial metal with numerous and growing applications. Predicting the price, therefore, has to include analyzing both of these functions…

Industrial Demand

Because of silver’s chemical make-up, it is one of the best electrical and thermal conductors of all the metals. It also has growing use in the medical field, due to its antibacterial properties. In fact, it has so many industrial uses that the Silver Institute calls it “the indispensable metal.”

And industrial demand for silver is going nowhere but up. One big reason is that many “green” technologies require silver. Electric vehicles use almost twice as much silver as internal combustion engines… solar panels contain silver and their installation is growing… 5G/mobile phone technology uses silver. And it’s clear that green infrastructure is a government priority.

The Silver Institute says industrial demand for silver will rise in 2022. They project a…

• 13% jump in photovoltaic demand (and triple by 2030).
• 10% gain in the electrical/electronic sector.
• 10% increase in brazing, alloy and solder demand.

Much of this demand has not yet hit the silver market, but now that the senate has passed the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, the jump in demand for silver is about to kick in.

And demand is already at record highs… total silver demand in 2021 reached 1.029 billion ounces, the first time it exceeded 1 billion ounces since 2015.

Investment Demand

Investment demand for silver fluctuates each year, sometimes wildly. But after industrial use, it is silver’s second-biggest source of demand, ahead of jewelry, silverware, and photography.

So to accurately predict where the price might be headed, one must take into account what level of investment demand is expected. That in itself requires a prediction, but we’ll point out that in 2021 demand for physical silver investment jumped 32% and hit a 6-year high, according to Metals Focus. And silver ETFs rose by 150 million ounces to close at a record high of 1.21 billion ounces.

In other words, demand for silver’s two main functions—industrial and investment—is growing.
This means…

• We should expect higher silver prices in 2022.

Now that we understand this base about silver, let’s look at the…

Three Ways to Predict the Silver Price

Lots of things can impact the silver price—the US dollar, economic health, among others—but historically the following three have the biggest influence…

#1: Investment Demand

While demand for all of silver’s uses fluctuates each year, they don’t change dramatically. Greater industrial demand will support the market, but any big spike in the silver price has historically come from one source, where demand fluctuates the most.


This long-term chart shows that as investment demand goes, so goes the silver price.
 Silver Price Rises and Falls with Investment Demand
You’ll notice, however, there is typically a lag effect. Price movements tend to follow changes in investment demand, up or down.

What does this mean for predicting the silver price in 2022?

• We showed above that investment demand was elevated in 2021, so it would be historically normal to expect higher prices in 2022.

#2. Gold/Silver Ratio

The gold/silver ratio is simply the price of gold divided by the price of silver. Since both are considered monetary metals, they usually move together—which can give us clues when the ratio gets stretched in one direction or the other.

The higher the ratio the more undervalued silver tends to be relative to gold; the lower the ratio the more overvalued silver is to gold.

And when readings get stretched, they tend to correct themselves, as this chart shows…

notice the ratio roughly corresponds to the highs and lows in precious metals cycles.
 Gold/Silver Ratio Since 1968
As 2022 began, the ratio was about 80, and you can see this reading is typically near a cycle low for precious metals prices. Meaning, the ratio is likely to fall and thus the silver price rise.

The ratio is also 28% above its 50-year average. These facts suggest silver is more likely to rise this year than fall.

Leigh Goehring of Goehring & Rozencwajg Associates is emphatic about the long-term price of silver, based on the ratio. “It’s hard to believe that in January 1980, on a very brief basis, the gold-silver ratio was 17:1. I wouldn't be surprised if we see that ratio again at some point in this bull market… if gold gets to $10,000 in this decade and the gold-silver ratio gets down to 20:1, that's $500 silver.”.

• The gold/silver ratio suggests the silver price is likely to rise in 2022.

#3. Silver TRAILS Gold

One frustration of silver investors is that the price can, at times, be dormant, even when gold is trending higher. But this is actually historically normal.

This chart shows that silver usually trails gold in bull markets. But then it catches up and outruns gold.

You’ll see silver popped higher than gold in the current bull market—but it would be historically abnormal for the bull market to be over, as it would be one of the smallest gains on record.

What this means for 2022 is that if one believes precious metals are in a bull market—and the gold price suggests we have been since late 2018—then we should expect silver to pass gold in fair time. If not this year, then 2023. Either way it suggests that silver prices are more likely to rise in 2022 than fall.

Some analysts believe this trend corresponds to silver’s delayed reaction to inflation. According to Perth Mint manager Jordan Eliseo, “The inflation driver is likely to kick in only this year, as the market was convinced inflation was transitory until only two months ago. We also saw more money pour into equity strategies this year than pretty much the last 20 years combined—that's held gold and silver back. The U.S. dollar index was up and that is a natural headwind, too. But gold has a history of performing well once the Fed commences a rate hike cycle—and silver follows gold.”

Many analysts have pointed out another fact about this tendency. In bull markets 90% of the move higher happens in the last 10% of time. This highlights both its nature to initially trail gold and also catch up and pass it.

Silver Usually Trails Gold, Then Outperforms It

Once the gold price begins its next upleg, then the fuse will be lit for silver to move higher.

• The natural tendency for silver to lag gold but then catch up and pass it suggests silver is more likely to rise in 2022 or 2023.

My 2022 and 5-Year Silver Predictions

Based on the three primary ways to forecast the silver price, here are my predictions for 2022 and the next five years.

The odds favor a higher silver price this year. And over the next few years.

If this prediction is correct, then accumulating silver now would be wise.

By Jeff Clark, Senior Analyst, Hard Assets Alliance


WealthCare Connect may receive a referral fee from Hard Asset Alliance.


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