"Chinese investors want hard assets such as silver, especially when it's cheaper than gold"Silver
demand in China, the world's second-largest user, is set to jump as much as 10 percent next year to a record as investors look to preserve wealth, according to Beijing Antaike Information Development Co.
Consumption may climb to 7,700 metric tons after gaining 6 percent to 8 percent in 2012, Shi Heqing, an analyst at Beijing Antaike, said on Oct. 22. About 33 percent of the country's demand comes from jewelry and coins
, with the rest from industrial use in photography, solar and electrical appliances, according to Antaike, which has studied metals for two decades.
Investors in China are buying more silver
as the second-largest economy slowed for a seventh quarter, the Shanghai Composite Index is heading for a third straight annual drop and property curbs are limiting prices. Silver
climbed 15 percent this year and holdings by exchange traded funds gained 6.5 percent this year after touching 592 million ounces last week.
"Chinese investors want hard assets such as silver
, especially when it's cheaper than gold
and requires less funding," Shi said. "Many producers and investors have hoarded the precious metal
in the form of ingots or unwrought silver