«Glistening particles of industrial silver A report prepared for The Silver Institute CRU International Limited’s responsibility is solely to its ...»
Glistening particles of
A report prepared for The Silver Institute
CRU International Limited’s responsibility is solely to its direct client (The Silver Institute). Its liability is limited to the
amount of the fees actually paid for the professional services involved in preparing this report. We accept no liability to
third parties, howsoever arising. Although reasonable care and diligence has been used in the preparation of this
report, we do not guarantee the accuracy of any data, assumptions, forecasts or other forward-looking statements.
CRU International Limited 2014. All rights reserved.
CRU Reference number: ST410922-14 CRU Consulting, a division of CRU International Limited Chancery House, 53-64 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1QS, UK Tel: +44 (0)20 7903 2000 Fax: +44 (0)20 7903 2172 Website: www.crugroup.com Glistening particles of industrial silver Contents Page Executive Summary i Chapter 1 – Introduction 1 Chapter 2 – Silver market evolution 4
2.1 The development of silver demand 4 Chapter 3 – Market with high expectations 7
3.1 Silver in batteries: from specialized areas to mainstream markets 7
3.2 Silver in EO: stable increase to continue 9
3.3 Silver in anti-bacterial uses: supported by new technologies 11
3.4 Silver in bearings: as yet unsubstitutable 12 Chapter 4 – Other industrial applications 14
4.1 PV industry 14
4.2 Silver in automotive 15
4.3 Silver in brazing alloys/solders 16
4.4 Silver in printed inks 17 CRU Consulting Glistening particles of industrial silver Executive Summary This report seeks to identify and understand new trends in silver demand across different sectors and regions with a focus on the recent developments in silver industrial applications, particularly those driven by technological innovation.
Medical care Bearings Silver-oxide battery Laptop batteries Solar cells Silver in new industrial applications Silver in established industrial applications
From watch batteries to massive solar energy systems, the special properties of silver are often indispensable in industrial applications, including silver coated bearings, catalysts, medical care and many products in our daily lives. Along with technological improvements, more and more applications of silver have been invented, and more importantly, commercialized; such as nanosilver, solar cells and printed inks. In this paper, we will look at demand for silver in the
following selected industries:
Silver-containing batteries have long been an established industrial application of silver.
Thanks to new technologies, these batteries have now expanded from the traditional usage in military and aerospace applications to everyday use, especially in developed countries, but
increasingly within developing countries. CRU Consulting expects silver consumption in batteries to reach 36 Moz in 2018, up 13% from 2013.
In the EO industry, silver catalysts help combine ethylene and oxygen into EO which is widely used in a variety of products from anti-freeze to cosmetics. As the global EO capacity increases rapidly, silver demand for EO applications will continue to grow by 21% to 63 Moz by 2018 compared with the 2013 level.
Considering silver applications in our daily lives, we cannot overlook the critical development of nanotechnology, from silver coated medical equipment, food contact materials and textiles to potentially many more novel applications as the technology develops. Nanosilver uses a miniscule amount of silver per application and the potential volume should not be overestimated. It is still a minor component of overall silver volumes, comprising 8-10 million ounces of silver in a market that has over a billion ounces a year of supply and equal demand.
The nanosilver market has expanded from North America and Europe to many developing economies, such as China and other Asian Pacific countries and supports an expanding market in the long run. This supports a bullish outlook for silver demand in this application in the long run, reaching 12 Moz by the end of forecast period vs. 9 Moz in 2013 In bearings, silver bearing liners have long been providing safety and longevity to jet engines and heavy-duty equipment. Supported by a resurgent construction industry, demand for silver coated bearings is expected to grow in parallel with these markets in the short to medium term.
CRU estimates this sector to consume between 2 and 3 Moz by 2018.
In addition, we will also highlight some other industrial applications with high growth potential, including photovoltaic (PV), automotives, brazing alloys/solders and printed inks. We will look at how increasing PV capacities worldwide support silver consumption in the coming years despite decreasing unit consumption. CRU Consulting expects silver consumption in PV industry will rise by 19% to 109 Moz by 2018.
Another promising market for silver demand is automotives. In particular, accelerating automotive production in China and India has and is expected to continue to boost the demand for silver-coated contacts in these countries, driving silver consumption in this sector at a CAGR of 4.6% to reach 71 Moz in 2018. The growth rate is slightly slower than 4.9% in the period of 2008-2013 as the Chinese economy is expected to slow down.
In the brazing alloys/solders sector, demand for silver is driven by industrial activity and is expected to benefit most from the gradual recovery of housing and infrastructure both in developed regions and developing economies.
Printed silver inks are a relatively new technology that has not yet been fully commercialized.
One application, within radio frequency identification devices, has already been accepted by the market but another application in the printing of electric circuits, is still at a trial stage.
Overall, CRU is generally optimistic with regards to silver demand for industrial applications.
Although silver consumption in industrial sectors has experienced a slowdown in the past two years, it is expected to rally from 2014 on the back of a continued recovery of the global economy. Moreover, along with technology innovation, new applications of silver will continue to emerge.
CRU Consulting forecasts that the silver consumption in other industrial sectors will increase by a CAGR of 4.5% to 386 Moz by 2018 supported by Automotives, PV and EO industries.
The table below summarizes our forecast increase in silver consumption from these industrial applications. Also included below is our estimate of the risks and opportunities for these different sectors.
Thrifting risk: for some applications the technology continues to drive the intensity of use down and hence although the number of units utilizing silver may be rising strongly, the quantity of silver per unit is being driven down.
Technology reliance: the confidence of the forecast is reduced when there is a high reliance on the continued development / acceptance of technology associated with applications.
Opportunity: This represents CRU Consulting’s estimate of the markets where the opportunities may be highest for over performance in terms of silver consumption.
Table E1: Silver consumption in other industrial sectors, 2013 and 2018F, Moz
Data: The Silver Institute, CRU Consulting Notes: H-High, M-Moderate, L-Low Notes: 2013 consumption data based on the Silver Institute data. Totals may not match individual figures due to rounding.
Chapter 1 – Introduction Silver, a soft, white and lustrous metal, is usually found in native form as an alloy with other metals and in minerals, such as argentite and chlorargyrite. Among all metals, its malleability and ductility offer high levels of optical reflectivity as well as excellent thermal and electrical conductivity.
With these unique properties, silver is seen both as a precious and an industrial metal and its consumption can be categorized into the industrial, investment and jewelry/decor sectors. Over the past decade, physical silver demand has seen strong growth, of which industrial demand for silver has contributed the largest share. Between 2004 and 2013, total physical demand for silver grew from 917 Moz to 1,081 Moz, with industrial fabrication (note that CRU has excluded photography from our industrial fabrication numbers) demand accounting for roughly half of the total. In 2013, the sluggish global economic recovery along with further substitution and thrift had a negligible impact on silver industrial fabrication demand globally. Industrial fabrication (excluding photography) consumption in 2013 was 536 Moz, effectively flat compared to 2012, though this still constituted over half of the global demand for physical silver.
Data: The Silver Institute The electrical and electronics sector accounts for the largest share of total industrial fabrication demand, as silver has a wide range of applications in this sector, ranging from consumer electronics to automobiles. The brazing alloys and solders sector has also contributed to the increase of silver demand as demand correlates strongly with world GDP growth. Losses from the photography sector have been offset by increasing demand from other sectors as well as new 1 CRU Consulting Glistening particles of industrial silver applications, such as silver-zinc batteries, clothing and hygiene industries. As a result of the ongoing recovery of the global economy and continuous technology development of silver applications, industrial demand for silver is expected to rally in the coming years. It is forecast that total silver consumption in industrial fabrication in 2014 will be 4.4% larger than in 2013.
Data: The Silver Institute, CRU Consulting This growth will be partly due to the expansion and commercialization of applications in a variety of new territories. Accordingly, we will focus on future demand for silver in technological applications in the industrial sector, such as photovoltaic (PV), pharmaceutical, brazing and solders, electrical and electronics, ethylene oxide catalysts (EO), automotives and several niche applications using nanotechnology, including printed inks and biocides. Although they use small amounts of silver per application, they have the potential to be rolled out extensively and positively impact silver demand.
It is worth observing how silver industrial demand (excluding photography) can shift among its key geographic locations. Over the past decade, the most significant change was the shift of silver demand towards the emerging markets, particularly in China. In 2004, while silver industrial demand in Europe reached 105 Moz, China consumed merely 56 Moz. In contrast, when demand in Europe fell to 91 Moz in 2013, Chinese industrial consumption had increased to 117 Moz. This shift has not only been driven by market evolution over time but also technology innovations. Increasing demand for silver in solar panels, automobiles and in antibacterial applications has influenced consumers in developed and developing countries to different degrees.
2 CRU ConsultingGlistening particles of industrial silver
We will observe how the silver market has evolved by timeline and region in Chapter 2.
Technological demand varies across continents, not only in its intensity but also by its precise applications. In Africa, we note that car ownership has been increasing significantly, whereas in China, silver has been used not only in a wide range of auto sector applications but also antibacterial and military uses.
0 Data: The Silver Institute, CRU Consulting In Chapter 3, we will focus on four selected markets with high expectations: batteries, EO, antibacterial and bearings. In particular, we will consider demand elasticity, substitution effects and scenarios for each market. Industrial demand for silver is less price-sensitive than, for example, the jewelry sector, but it is still influenced by price volatility. How silver prices and volatility affect potential growth and substitutions need to be investigated in order to understand how silver demand develops in the future. We will also discuss the main drivers of demand growth and fundamental shifts.
Finally, we will highlight some other important silver applications within the industrial sector.
Silver has started gaining momentum in some key markets, such as PV. Other markets, such as automotives and printed inks, still have potential in driving silver demand. The upside potential of silver use in these applications will also be discussed.
Many technologies we use today have long histories. The US and European countries led silver application technologies through history, and then technologies spread to Asia, Africa, and South America. It is reported that nanosilver was first synthesized in 1889. In the early 20th century, the commercial sale of medicinal nanoscale silver colloids began under different names such as Collargol, Argyrol, and Protargol, and their uses became widespread over a 50-year period in the US. These nanosilver products were used to treat various diseases, such as syphilis and other bacterial infections, and were sold as over-the-counter medications across the world. In addition, nanosilver products can also be used as a biocidal in swimming pools.
Just after 1900, Johnson Matthey began to produce experimental silver solders for its silversmith customers. In 1932, silver solders began to be sold in America. During the 1930s,