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The annual world silver survey from the Silver Institute reports, “No growth in the total supply (mining plus recycling) of silver and sharply increased demand growth of 18%.” The silver deficit of 237 million ounces is the highest in modern times. Nothing could be more bullish than using up more silver than is produced. Eventually, this kind of shortage must lead to higher prices. The law of supply and demand insists that more demand than supply (by a large margin) must result in rising prices. However, silver prices were lower on average over the year 2022 than the year before.

The Silver Institute’s explanation for prices moving lower when demand is greater than supply was “institutional activity in silver.” I suppose institutional activity sounds more dignified and proper than price manipulation. The fact is that the only possible explanation for there being greater demand than supply and prices falling, is if someone is monkeying with the price. It’s what the collusive COMEX commercials do for a living. Price manipulation is a term to be avoided at all costs in these reports despite the fact that all the data in the survey point to that inescapable conclusion.

The reason the Silver Institute is reporting a gaping deficit in silver and no production growth (for more than a decade) is precisely because prices have been artificially suppressed and manipulated over this time. Low prices limit supply by reducing mining production and increase demand because silver is so cheap. In a free market, it’s not possible to have more demand than supply without prices exploding higher. The good news for silver investors is that the artificially depressed prices have existed for so long that silver inventories have been depleted.  So little silver remains that the manipulation appears to be breathing its last gasp. The hard data on actual supply and demand is so compelling that those dirty tricks won’t matter for much longer. When this shortage causes delays in the delivery of silver to industrial users, they will begin to stockpile and hoard silver. That will cause a price explosion that will be written about for a hundred years. You want to own silver before that happens.

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