Chinese Silver Production
The Importance of Silver
Chinese Silver Demand
Chinese demand for silver for manufacture of solar panels is growing.
China is a major producer of silver. China is also a major consumer of silver in the rapidly growing electronics and solar panel industries.
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China Becomes a Silver Mining Powerhouse – spurred on by exploding solar panel and industrial demand.
Update October 8, 2015: China Raises 2015 Solar Installation Target
China is The World’s Largest Gold Producer
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In May this year, we reported that China had become the world’s largest importer and producer of gold.
China has been adding to its gold stockpile to boost and diversify its reserves and to hedge against monetary instability.
China has doubled its gold production since 2000 to become the world’s largest producer
Top Gold Producing Nations
3. Russian Federation
4. United States
5. South Africa
Source: MoneyWeb via Metals Focus
The Importance of Silver to China
China Is the World’s Second Largest Silver Producer
China has also been ramping up its silver mining production and is now the world’s number two silver mining country behind Mexico.
China has ramped up its silver production to become the world’s second largest producer.
Top Silver Producing Nations
9. United States
Source: The Silver Institute
China’s Industrial Demand For Silver
Silver is important to China, less so as a monetary asset and more so as an industrial metal.
Global demand for silver hit a record in 2013, led by a 76% increase in demand for silver coins and bars.
Increased silver investment demand means less silver available for industrial use such as in the production of ethylene oxide (where more than 150 million ounces of silver are used annually as a catalyst each year to produce ethylene oxide and formaldehyde for the production of plastics, polyester and adhesives) and electronics (where about 230 million ounces of silver a year are used to produce circuit boards for mobile phones and computers and switches for televisions, microwave ovens and other consumer products.
China is a major producer of ethylene oxide and electronics and as such, consumes massive amounts of silver.
Solar Energy in China
China is the World’s Largest Solar Manufacturer
Solar energy is a major growth industry for China. China has invested heavily in the photovoltaic industry as it seeks to supplement its voracious energy demands and reduce its air pollution problem with solar power. China is the world’s number one consumer of energy but is second behind Germany in total solar power generation.
In addition to manufacturing solar panels for domestic use, China is the world largest manufacturer of solar panels for export.
The photovoltaic cells in solar panels use a silver based paste. Solar manufacturers are projecting to ship a record amount of solar panels in 2014 and the silver demand for the photovoltaic industry is expected to reach 100 million ounces in 2015.
Solar Panels in Shanghai, China
Chinese Silver Pandas
In addition to China’s need for silver for use in electronics, ethylene oxide and solar panel production, China also needs silver to mint the iconic Chinese Silver Panda Coins.
The People’s Republic of China official mint has been producing Silver Panda coins since 1983. The Chinese Silver Panda coins are produced in 3 (¼ Troy ounce) 5 (½ Troy ounce), 10 (1 Troy ounce), 50 (5 Troy ounces), 100 (12 Troy ounces) and 300 (1 Kilogram) Yuan. The picture of the Panda on the coins is changed each year.
Approximately 40 million of these highly prized one ounce Chinese Silver Panda coins have been sold from 1983-2014.
In recent years, China has ramped up its annual mintage of one ounce Chinese Silver Pandas from 600,000 annually to 8,000,000 a year the past three years.
There is speculation that China will ramp up production of Chinese Silver Pandas further in the coming years and perhaps one day challenge the American Silver Eagle as the worlds largest selling silver coin.