It’s been a topsy-turvy week for silver, which thus far has traded between $19.65 and $20.29 per ounce. However, it looks like the white metal may be set to end on a high point. 

The week didn’t have a promising beginning. Silver sank to $19.75 early Monday morning, and though it later jumped up to $19.98, it wasn’t long before it had dropped back down to just $19.85. Causing problems for the white metal was speculation about how the Wednesday release of US Federal Reserve March meeting minutes might impact the market, Reuters notes.

Tuesday was a little better for silver, which reached $20.13 early in the day. It was buoyed by a fall in the dollar and in equity markets, which, according to another Reuters article, were pushed down by “signs the European Central Bank may not recur to more stimulus” and subdued risk appetite caused by continued tension in Ukraine.

The next day saw the white metal’s movement really pick up. Silver plunged to $19.65 at the beginning of the day as investors curbed their activity in anticipation of the release of the Fed minutes. It then proceeded to climb steadily, ultimately closing the day at $19.88 after the Fed “again shed no light on if or when it will raise interest rates,” MetalMiner states.

That news from the central bank led to further good fortune for silver today — this morning it hit $20.29, its high for the week thus far, and managed to end the day at $20.03 per ounce. Whether it will be able to maintain that gain tomorrow is another story; however, Kitco’s Jim Wyckoff believes that while the “[b]ears still have the near-term technical advantage,” it’s possible that the “bulls might be making a move.”

Company news

Silver company news this week centered on production results. Kicking off that trend, Avino Silver & Gold Mines (TSXV:ASM,NYSEMKT:ASM) on Tuesday provided Q1 2014 production results for its Mexico-based Avino property, noting that silver production rose 46 percent from the year-ago quarter, to 232,401 ounces. Meanwhile, gold output saw a 122-percent increase, hitting 1,274 ounces.

David Wolfin, the company’s president, CEO and director, said Avino’s production has now increased for five consecutive quarters.

Also providing first-quarter production results this week was First Majestic Silver (TSX:FR,NYSE:AG), which on Wednesday said that during that period its five operating Mexican silver mines reached a new output record of 3,631,672 silver equivalent ounces. Specifically, the mines put out 2,895,497 ounces of silver, 8,593,807 pounds of lead, 2,689,274 pounds of zinc and 3,375 ounces of gold.

The same day, Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) released its preliminary results for the first quarter of 2014, commenting that it produced 2.5 million ounces of silver, a 32-percent increase from the previous year. Further, it produced 42,269 ounces of gold, up significantly from the 13,689 ounces it put out in the year-ago quarter.

Meanwhile, Endeavour Silver (TSX:EDR,NYSE:EXK) announced Q1 silver and gold production results from Guanaceví, Bolañitos and El Cubo, its three Mexico-based silver mines. Their silver equivalent production came to a total of 3 million ounces, a 26-percent increase, with silver production sitting at 1,898,999 ounces and gold production at 18,519 ounces.

Finally, Great Panther Silver (TSX:GPR,NYSEMKT:GPL) revealed that this past quarter, Guanajuato and Topia, its two Mexico-based silver mining operations, produced 370,668 ounces of silver, on par with the year-ago period, and 3,666 ounces of gold, up 17 percent from Q1 2013.

Commenting on those figures, Robert Archer, the company’s president and CEO, said, “[w]hile we generated a 10% increase in overall metal production over the first quarter 2013, disruptions at Guanajuato had a negative impact on our overall production results.” Great Panther has “increased [its] underground development programs at Guanajuato to make up for the delay,” and with San Ignacio still on track to begin commercial production at the end of the current quarter, its 2014 production guidance has not changed.

Junior company news

It wasn’t just silver producers that released results this week — juniors got in on the action too. For one, Mines Management (TSX:MGT,NYSEMKT:MGN) provided its financial and operating results for the entirety of 2013, noting that it incurred a net loss of $7.4 million, or $0.25 per share, lower than the $8.2-million loss it posted the previous year.

In 2014, the company plans to “continue to focus on planning for [its] evaluation and delineation drilling program at the Montanore Project pending the final permitting approvals.” It anticipates spending about $5.7 million over the course of the year.


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