This year, 1,204 people participated in the latest Outlook 2019 survey. A total of 524 voters or 43%, said that they expect silver will be the top performer next year; gold came in second place, garnering 407 votes, or 34%. 144 people, or 12%, see copper as the top metal in 2019. Down at the bottom, only 69 people, 6%, think palladium will be the top metal in next year and in last place was platinum, garnering only 22, or 5% of the votes.
The strong optimism for silver comes despite the fact that the metal has been the worst performer in the precious metals space in 2018; prices have declined 13% heading into the new year. March silver futures last traded at $17.76 an ounce, down 0.73% on the day.
The best performing precious metal in 2018 has been palladium. Increasing industrial demand and a growing supply deficit has pushed the price up 10% this year. Palladium briefly surpassed the price of gold at the start of the month. In last year’s survey only 5% of Main Street voters said palladium would outperform. March palladium futures last traded at $1,162.50 an ounce, down 2.47% on the day
Main Street is not alone in its optimism for silver prices. Most major banks see silver outperforming gold as investors move back into the precious metals space due to a weaker U.S. dollar and global financial market uncertainty.
Dutch bank ABN AMRO is optimistic about silver, seeing prices push to $18 an ounce in 2019 and averaging the year around $16.60 an ounce.
Georgette Boele, coordinator of FX and precious metals strategy at the bank, said that lower bond yields and a weaker U.S. dollar should be positive factors for silver prices.
“We think that silver prices have seen the low and we expect higher prices from now. For a start, we expect the U.S. dollar to weaken and U.S. Treasury yields to decline in our forecast horizon,” Boele said. “Our positive outlook for gold prices should also support silver prices.”
Natixis is also another bank bullish on silver. In its 2019 forecast, the French bank said that it also sees silver prices pushing to a high of $18 and averaging the year around $16 an ounce.
In a recent interview with Kitco News Bernard Dahdah, precious metals analyst at Natixis, said that his optimistic outlook on silver is a result of his positive view on gold. He noted that silver is about 1.3% more volatile than gold, so if gold prices move higher, silver should outperform.
The iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was trading at $13.75 per share on Friday afternoon, down $0.10 (-0.72%). Year-to-date, SLV has declined -14.01%, versus a -8.08% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
This article is brought to you courtesy of Kitco.