NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 05/24/12 -- It has been a tough month for both silver prices and silver stocks. The Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) has fallen nearly 16 percent in the last month. Despite the recent drops analysts are still optimistic about silver's future. "A greater amount of confidence in the global economy generally means higher growth and that means more silver demand. If you look out beyond the end of the year, you can still see reasons to be bullish," David Jollie, an analyst at Mitsui & Co. Precious Metals Inc. said to Bloomberg News. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Silver Industry and provides equity research on iShares Silver Trust ETF (NYSE Arca: SLV) and First Majestic Silver Corp. (NYSE: AG).
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Silver will look to rally in 2012 on the emergence of Chinese Silver futures and increased fabrication demand. According to China Daily the Shanghai Futures Exchange recently gained approval to begin trading silver futures. "There has been an absence of a means of trading in silver in China," Wang Ruilei, an analyst with precious metals trader CGS Co Ltd, said to China Daily. "The market will be bigger and more liquid with the advent of these futures contracts."
Phillip Klapwijk, global head of analytics at Thomson Reuters GFMS, expects fabrication demand, which makes up roughly 80 percent of silver demand, to increase about 3% to 5% this year. "Prices are probably going to head higher [in the second half of 2012] and we could see a push above $40 at some point," Klapwijk said last month in a phone interview.
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The iShares Silver Trust ETF is intended to constitute a simple and cost-effective means of making an investment similar to an investment in silver. Although the fund is not the exact equivalent of an investment in silver, they provide investors with an alternative that allows a level of participation in the silver market through the securities market.
First Majestic has experienced another solid quarter of earnings and cash flow due in part to an increase in total production to 2,007,219 silver equivalent ounces, an increase of 10% compared to 1,825,366 silver equivalent ounces produced in the first quarter of 2011. Silver production remained robust during the first quarter with 1,826,803 ounces of silver being produced, representing an increase of 3% compared to 1,769,208 ounces of silver produced in the first quarter of 2011.
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