Analysts forecast silver prices in the $15-30/oz range

Wallace, Idaho (Platts)--3Jan2008

Silver, which is revered by some investors as the "poor man's gold," is in for a Nantucket sleigh-ride of price action in 2008, according to market-watchers polled by Platts; these analysts are forecasting annual average silver prices as high as $30.00/oz this year.

"I'm looking for a clean double [of the price of silver] this year," said John Embry, a partner in the Toronto-based Sprott Assett Management. "We're in the early throes of a serious monetary debasement. It will attract investment
in precious metals, and silver [will] be the major beneficiary, trading up as much as a buck in a single day."

Embry continued: "Demand for silver is solid, but you can't get more production. Labor shortages in the mining sector are a critical issue. Silver is a coiled spring [that is ready to unwind], and the everyday market doesn't
have a clue. I'm predicting $30/oz [silver price] this year."

Jeffrey Christian, managing director of the New York-based metals consultancy CPM Group, who is not as bullish as Embry, noted that the silver price should average in the mid-teens for 2008.

"It's easy to be bullish [on silver] today," said Christian. "Our published projection for 2008 [which was made around mid-2007] is $15.63/oz for the average. We are looking for higher prices, based primarily on strong
investment demand. You have a number of investors who are buying silver for same reason they're buying gold: They don't believe financial assets are

Christian continued: "The price of silver has risen to a very high level, but it's nowhere near the record highs you're seeing in gold and platinum. Silver will play catch-up." A big boost for silver demand will come from the
newly-created, silver-backed exchange traded funds in Europe, he noted.

--David Bond;

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