Germany begins withdrawing troops from Turkish air base

Germany began on Sunday to pull its troops out of a Turkish air base where they have supported international operations against Daesh following a row with Ankara over access, a German defence ministry spokesman said. The withdrawal from the Incirlik base, approved by the German parliament last month, marks a further step in one of many bilateral disputes, ranging from a post-coup clampdown by Ankara to Turkish political campaigning in Germany. German tornado jets were due to keep operating out of Incirlik at least until the end of July as part of a mission providing reconnaissance aircraft to support US-led coalition operations against Daesh in Iraq and Syria. In the meantime the necessary material was to be moved to a […]

Has Peak Silver Arrived?

Whilst a lot of precious metals investors are solely focusing on gold, we would almost forget about silver, also called ‘the poor man’s gold’ although things are changing fast on this market as well.

2016 was the first year in more than a decade wherein the primary silver production (coming from mines either as a main product or a by-product credit) decreased. After seeing a total silver production of approximately 668 million ounces in 2007 increasing to 891 million ounces in 2015, we saw a (first) decrease to 886 million ounces in 2016.

Source: The Silver Institute

As you can see on the previous image, the total recovery from scrap and the inflow from hedges decreased as well, causing the total silver supply to decrease by approximately 3% to 1.007 billion ounces, the lowest level since 2013.

Whilst the total demand for silver also decreased to 1.028 billion ounces, 2016 was the fourth consecutive year with a supply deficit. Sure, the deficit was just 21 million ounces, but that’s entirely due to the lower demanf for jewelry and investment purposes. As you can clearly see in the same table, the demand from those two end-uses was 519 million ounces in 2015, but fell to just 414 million ounces in 2016, a decrease of 105 million ounces.

Source: Ibidem

One of the arguments of bears is the decreasing use of the precious metal in the photographic sector. It’s absolutely impossible to deny that, but it’s also already clearly visible in the trend since 2007. In 2007 the silver demand for the photographic sector was 117 million ounces 12.32% of the total world demand, but last year, the sector needed just 45 million ounces of silver, which is now just over 4% of the total world demand.

This means that even if the demand for photographic uses would drop to zero (which isn’t impossible, although the sector demand has remained relatively stable since 2013), this would most definitely NOT cause a shift of the demand curve. One main contributor to the steady demand would be the increased use of the photovoltaic sector, where the silver demand reached its highest point éver.

So the supply side of silver isn’t really slowing down (yes, the total demand was lower due to lower demand for investment uses), but the silver demand from industrial sectors is still at an elevated level.

Source: Ibidem

This also means the supply side will have to (try to) keep up with the demand. According to the Silver Institute, only 30% of the mine supply is coming from mines which have the commodity as a primary product. 12% comes from primary gold mines, whilst an additional 23% is mined as part of primary copper deposit. With the current low gold and copper price, not a lot of new mines will be developed which will put pressure on the supply side of the equation.

Fortunately 35% of the mine supply came from lead-zinc mines, and as these two commodities are performing well, it’s not unlikely more lead and zinc mines will be brought into production, boosting the silver output in the process. That being said, several larger zinc mines have been shut down and are still shutting down, and it looks like the average grade of the precious metal as a by-product in the ‘advanced stage’ zinc mines is dropping, perhaps even to a level where smelters don’t deem the silver to be payable due to low recovery rates in the process.

Long story short: the demand for silver is there ‘to stay’, but will the supply side be able to keep up with the demand? Scrap supply seems to have peaked, whilst it won’t be easy to increase the mine supply.

Worried? Read our guide to gold right now >>>

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Israeli settler runs over Palestinian girl near Arroub camp

A Palestinian girl was left wounded on Sunday morning after she was hit by an Israeli settler driving near the main entrance to Hebron’s northern refugee camp of al-Arroub, in the southern occupied West Bank. A news correspondent with the Palestinian Information Centre quoted local sources as stating that an Israeli settler rammed his car into an unidentified Palestinian girl walking near al-Arroub camp, leaving her wounded. No further details are yet available on this hit-and-run incident.

Israeli settler runs over Palestinian girl near Arroub camp

A Palestinian girl was left wounded on Sunday morning after she was hit by an Israeli settler driving near the main entrance to Hebron’s northern refugee camp of al-Arroub, in the southern occupied West Bank. A news correspondent with the Palestinian Information Centre quoted local sources as stating that an Israeli settler rammed his car into an unidentified Palestinian girl walking near al-Arroub camp, leaving her wounded. No further details are yet available on this hit-and-run incident.

Israeli settler runs over Palestinian girl near Arroub camp

A Palestinian girl was left wounded on Sunday morning after she was hit by an Israeli settler driving near the main entrance to Hebron’s northern refugee camp of al-Arroub, in the southern occupied West Bank. A news correspondent with the Palestinian Information Centre quoted local sources as stating that an Israeli settler rammed his car into an unidentified Palestinian girl walking near al-Arroub camp, leaving her wounded. No further details are yet available on this hit-and-run incident.

Trump pledges $639m in aid to Yemen, Somalia and others

US President Donald Trump on Saturday promised $639 million in aid to feed people left starving because of drought and conflict in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen. Trump’s pledge came during a working session of the G20 summit of world leaders in Hamburg, providing a “godsend” to the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP), the group’s executive director, David Beasley, told Reuters on the sidelines of the meeting. “We’re facing the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two,” said Beasley, a Republican and former South Carolina governor who was nominated by Trump to head the UN agency fighting hunger worldwide. The new funding brings to over $1.8 billion aid promised by the United States for fiscal year 2017 for the crises in the four countries, where the United […]

Children with cystic fibrosis in Gaza in ‘mortal danger’

Tens of Palestinian children being treated at a Gaza City hospital for cystic fibrosis are facing possible imminent death, relatives and medical sources told Ma’an, amid what rights groups described as the worst medication crisis the besieged Gaza Strip has seen in years, stemming from debilitating budget cuts by the Palestinian Authority (PA). The PA has been the centre of widespread condemnation in recent weeks for its policies in Gaza aimed at putting pressure on Hamas to relinquish control of the besieged coastal enclave and hand over the territory to the PA. The main victims of the current medication crisis are cancer patients, infants with developmental deficits, and hundreds of cystic fibrosis patients, according to a report last month from […]

Abbas arrives in Cairo ahead of meeting with Sisi

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Cairo on Saturday on an official visit to Egypt, and will meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday. Palestinian Authority-owned Wafa news agency reported that Abbas was received at Cairo International Airport by Egyptian Electricity Minister Muhammad Shakir al-Marqabi and other Egyptian officials, along with PA ambassador to Egypt and to the Arab League Jamal Shubaki. Accompanying Abbas on his visit was his official spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeina, head of the Fatah bloc at the Palestinian parliament Azzam al-Ahmad, Abbas’ diplomatic advisor Majdi al-Khalidi, and chief of the PA general intelligence Majid Faraj. According to Wafa, Abbas met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Samih Shukri at the presidential palace Cairo, when the Palestinian […]

Palestinian infant dies after being injured with Israeli tear gas

An 18-month old Palestinian infant died on Friday, some two months after suffering from tear gas inhalation when Israeli forces shot tear gas at Palestinian homes in the village of Aboud in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah. According to Palestinian news agency Wafa, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said that 18-month-old Abdulrahman Barghouti, was transferred to Hadassah Hospital in West Jerusalem after suffering from tear gas inhalation in May, owing to the severity of his condition. However, Wafa pointed out that “all efforts to save his life failed,” and the infant was declared dead on Friday evening. The infant was injured after clashes broke out across the occupied West Bank on May 19 in support of some […]