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The price-responsiveness of secondary silver.

Wolfe TW; Malashevich BP; Chandler C; Morgan C; Rubenking B
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, OFR 74-82, 1982 Jan; :1-146
The objective of this research was to determine the volume of silver that might reasonably be expected to be supplied from secondary sources in the future by establishing and analyzing the price-supply relationship. It was determined that there are very large unreported U.S. stocks of silver bullion, coin, and sterling silver, which, under certain conditions, can become an important increment to the future market supply. The price-elasticity of supply of silver refined from both new and old scrap in the aggregate is relatively low--at 0.3. The supply of silver refined from coins, however, is highly price-elastic with an elasticity calculated at 1.6 to 2.7. It was also found that U.S. capacity to process and refine secondary silver has increased and that the infrastructure of the market is in a strong position to expedite the flow of silver from reserve stocks of coin and other high-grade scrap in the event of a substantial rise in demand and price. However, the availability of this incremental supply for industrial use will also be influenced by private investors in silver bullion, whose behavior can either offset or enhance the flow of secondary supply from other sources.
Demand; Economic elasticity Economics; Market value; Precious metals; Prices; Silver; Sterling; Supply
Publication Date
Document Type
CP; Final Contract Report
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
OFR 74-82; Contract-J0113080
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, OFR 74-82
Performing Organization
Economic Consulting Services, Inc., Washington, DC
Page last reviewed: November 19, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division