The silver market has started 2022 on a reasonably volatile note as prices swung in a $3 range in January; however, despite the volatility, the precious metal is seeing strong physical demand, according to January sales data from the U.S. Mint.
The U.S. Mint's sales numbers show that it sold $5 million ounces of silver last month, its best start to the year in five years. According to the data, silver coin sales are up 4.6% from 4.78 million ounces sold in January 2021.
January is traditionally the busiest month for the U.S. Mint; however, analysts have said that it's not surprising to see investors jump back into the physical market as consumer price pressures continue to rise along with growing geopolitical uncertainty around the world.
"Overall, we continue to see strong demand for all retail precious metal products, so long as inflation remains a concern, and as we move closer to a contentious U.S. midterm election," said Nicky Shiels, precious metals strategist at MKS PAMP.
Shiels added that a subsidiary of MKS PAMP in the U.S. shows that premiums for silver coins are around $8 an ounce, an indication of how robust demand for the precious metal has been.
Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, said that silver's underperformance against gold continues to make it an attractive metal for investors to physically own.