Flag of Turkey

Though silver unfortunately earned the distinction of being 2013′s worst-performing metal, the white metal began 2014 by picking up its socks a little. 

Monday was a fairly uneventful day for silver, which traded between $19.90 and $19.56 per ounce. Tuesday, however, was a different story. In early morning trading, the precious metal sank quickly down to $19 before shooting back up to $19.70 about two hours later.

Capital Trading Group suggests in its January 2 report that “a weak Chicago PMI number” may have been the impetus for that rebound. News that silver coin buyers pushed US Mint sales of 1-ounce American Eagle silver coins up to 42.675 million ounces in 2013 — a new record and a significant increase over the 33.743 million sold in 2012 — likely also helped boost prices.

Following the Wednesday holiday, silver continued to rise, breaking $20 during the morning and reaching $20.18, its high for the day, early in the afternoon. Those gains were prompted in part by the rebalancing of the Standard & Poor’s Goldman Sachs Commodities Index and the Dow Jones UBS Commodities Index, according to The Wall Street Journal. “[P]ortfolio managers allocat[ing] cash across the spectrum of different assets” provided further support.

The white metal closed Thursday at $19.97.

Turkish silver imports up

In an interesting turn of events, Bloomberg reported today that Turkey imported 41.6 metric tons (MT) of silver in December, the largest amount since at least 1999. That brought the total amount silver imported by the country in 2013 up to 227.8 MT, a 60-percent increase from 2012 and much higher than the 42.1 MT Turkey imported in 2011.

Meanwhile, the nation’s gold imports increased 64 percent in December, to 31.6 MT.

Explaining the significant rise, Daniel Briesemann, an analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt, told Bloomberg, “[s]ome people took the opportunity of lower prices and bought remarkable amounts of gold and silver. Generally, prices are very attractive. Demand is very robust in Turkey and the Arab world as well.”

Heading into 2014, it may thus be worth keeping an eye on what Turkey and other countries in the area do with silver.

Junior company news

Silver Standard Resources (TSX:SSO,NASDAQ:SSRI) announced on Monday the completion of the sale of its San Augustin project to Argonaut Gold (TSX:AR). The project is located in Durango, Mexico.

The same day, Dolly Varden Silver (TSXV:DVrevealed that, subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange, it has closed a non-brokered, expedited private placement for gross proceeds of $210,000. The offering saw the company issue 1.4 million flow-through common shares priced at $0.15 each.

Dolly Varden plans to put the money towards further exploration and development of its British Columbia-based Dolly Varden silver property.


Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. 

Related reading: 

Silver Outlook: Analysts See Silver Around $21 per Ounce in 2014