Silver has performed poorly in September, and today was no exception. The white metal sank to a 14-month low of $18.2977 per ounce this morning, and the near future is not expected to bring much improvement. Indeed, a median of 12 analyst estimates put together by Bloomberg suggests silver will average $20 in Q4 and just $20.40 in 2015. Those numbers aren't very promising, but there's at least one bright spot in the market: exchange-traded products (ETPs). Silver ETP holdings are reportedly up 1.5 percent since mid-July, at 19.898.8 metric tons, according to more data from Bloomberg. That may surprise some market watchers, but in fact silver ETP holdings have a history of rising when the metal's price is down. Last year, holdings rose 2.4 percent even as precious metals prices took a nosedive. Explaining why that's the case, Bloomberg states that the draw of ETPs for retail investors, who are responsible for 80 percent of US ETP purchases, is the idea that long-term growth will spur improved industrial demand for silver "in everything from solar panels to electronics." As Peter Jankovskis of OakBrook Investments told the news outlet, "[u]nlike gold, buyers of silver ETFs are not the momentum players. You will see people holding silver for a much longer period of time compared with gold. Last year, the ETF investors did not flee like you saw in gold ETFs." Spelling it out a little more directly GoldSeek's Ronan Manly states, "[r]etail investors tend to have a longer term investment horizon and these silver ETF investors are mostly long term buy and hold investors. Recent updates on the flows into these ETFs and their total holdings point to continued accumulation across-the-board by these retail investors. It appears that the current price weakness in the silver price has if anything, encouraged these retail investors to accumulate additional holdings."