Added to the metal's positive demand outlook are expectations for healthy industrial consumption. In a recent interview with the South China Morning Post, Haywood Cheung Tak-hay, president of the Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society, pointed to strong economic growth in Asia, citing expectations that large amounts of silver will be used for mobile phones and other electronics by the likes of China, Japan and South Korea.
“Silver is now trading at a much lower level than its normal difference from gold. As such, we can predict silver will rise further this year,” Cheung said.
Support for silver
While demand for physical silver is set to remain strong, there is a ticking time bomb in the paper markets, according to Chris Powell and Bill Murphy, founders of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee.In a recent Future Money Trends interview, they explain that the massive shorting of silver that JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) has caused in the derivatives market has created an incredible shortage situation.The silver price is going to go bonkers, said Murphy. Though heavy liquidation has recently been seen in the silver futures market, there are some professional money managers who are not only betting on silver, but are also betting that it will outperform gold. Given supportive macroeconomic fundamentals, Ian Williams, mixed asset fund manager at Charteris Treasury, has forecast a sustained bull market for silver that should drive its price to $165 an ounce by October 2015. In a recent webcast, Jeffrey Gundlach, founder of DoubleLine Capital, reportedly revealed a contrarian position. He is bullish on gold even as many deep-pocketed investors are bailing on the metal. Gundlach expects gold prices to rise in tune with central bank balance sheets, but he prefers silver because it is offers a high beta. Gains for gold will therefore mean larger gains for bets placed on silver.