U.S. exchanges and sentiments will no longer dominate futures trading in the silver market and a whole new group of traders will be able to have an impact on silver's overall price point
We already told you that silver prices would rally this year, and developments last week could make the surge approach even faster.
The white metal was trending down last week until dovish remarks from Team Bernanke following the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on April 25 reversed the price slide. Spot silver prices on the Comex ended the week at $31.27.
But there's another reason supporting a long-term silver price climb.
That reason lies in a news item out of China that many investors may have missed.
China and silver prices
On April 26, China Daily reported that the Shanghai Futures Exchange received approval to begin trading silver futures.
Previously, Asian investors had to access international markets to trade silver futures, or else they could trade indirectly on local Chinese markets.
"There has been an absence of a means of trading in silver in China," Wang Ruilei, an analyst with precious metal trader CGS Co Ltd, told China Daily. "The market will be bigger and more liquid with the advent of these futures contracts."
The Chinese announcement allows for two major things to take place.
First, it means that U.S. exchanges and sentiments will no longer dominate futures trading in the silver market.
Second, it means a whole new group of traders will be able to have an impact on silver's overall price point.
These two facts bode well for silver futures long term.
China allowing investors wider access to the silver market will pump more money into the commodity. In addition, it will make it more difficult for American speculators to manipulate the markets in their own favor.
We can expect some volatility in the market as commodities investors absorb and process China's news, but any price lows should be buy-in points.
Silver's price rally
China's news isn't the only catalyst boosting silver prices.
A report released earlier this month from the global head of metals analytics at Thomson Reuters GFMS forecast a silver price climb in the second half of 2012.
Philip Klapwijk of GFMS says silver sales for industrial application as well as for jewelry, silver, silverware and photography will rise as end-users restock inventories that diminished in late 2011. Fabrication demand makes up 80% of total demand for the metal, and should be up about 3% to 5% this year to roughly 900 million ounces.
Finally, the stops put on American silver market manipulators will be another huge factor in silver's coming rally.
Ted Butler, who publishes bi-weekly commentary at www.butlerresearch.com with a special focus on the silver market, said that while silver market manipulation is currently helping depress silver prices, that won't be the case for long. Once the manipulators are stopped -- which, Butler said, always happens when they're controlling an investment in such a manner -- silver will soar higher to where the price would be without a rigged market.
"Therefore, the manipulation is giving silver investors a double-barrelled bonanza," Butler told Money Morning Global Resources Specialist Peter Krauth. "One, a cheap price to buy at than would otherwise be the case and, two, a much higher price to sell at once the manipulation is ended."
There are already signs of a subtle beginning to silver's 2012 price push. This means it's time to pay attention to silver's dips as buying opportunities.