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Silver Mini Mar '23 (QIH23)

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Contract Specifications for [[ item.sessionDateDisplayLong ]]
Barchart Symbol QI
Exchange Symbol QI
Contract E-Mini Silver
Exchange COMEX
Tick Size $0.0125 per troy ounce ($31.25 per contract)
Margin/Maintenance $5,775/5,250
Daily Limit 10% above or below previous settlement
Contract Size 2,500 troy ounces
Months Mar, May, Jul, Sep, Dec (H, K, N, U, Z)
Trading Hours 5:00p.m. - 4:00p.m. (Sun-Fri) (Settles 12:25p.m.) CST
Value of One Futures Unit $2,500
Value of One Options Unit $2,500
Last Trading Day Third last business day of the month preceding the maturing delivery month

Description

Silver is a white, lustrous metallic element that conducts heat and electricity better than any other metal. In ancient times, many silver deposits were near the earth's surface. Before 2,500 BC, silver mines were worked in Asia Minor. Around 700 BC, ancient Greeks stamped a turtle on their first silver coins. Silver assumed a key role in the U.S. monetary system in 1792 when Congress based the currency on the silver dollar. However, the U.S. discontinued the use of silver in coinage in 1965. Today Mexico is the only country that uses silver in its circulating coinage.

Silver is the most malleable and ductile of all metals, apart from gold. Silver melts at about 962 degrees Celsius and boils at about 2212 degrees Celsius. Silver is not very chemically active, although tarnishing occurs when sulfur and sulfides attack silver, forming silver sulfide on the surface of the metal. Because silver is too soft in its pure form, a hardening agent, usually copper, is mixed into the silver. Copper is usually used as the hardening agent because it does not discolor the silver. The term "sterling silver" refers to silver that contains at least 925 parts of silver per thousand (92.5%) to 75 parts of copper (7.5%).

Silver is usually found combined with other elements in minerals and ores. In the U.S., silver is mined in conjunction with lead, copper, and zinc. In the U.S., Nevada, Idaho, Alaska, and Arizona are the leading silver-producing states. For industrial purposes, silver is used for photography, electrical appliances, glass, and as an antibacterial agent for the health industry.

Silver futures and options are traded at the CME Group and the London Metal Exchange (LME). Silver futures are traded on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM). The CME silver futures contract calls for the delivery of 5,000 troy ounces of silver (0.999 fineness) and is priced in terms of dollars and cents per troy ounce.

Prices - CME silver futures prices (Barchart.com symbol SI) moved lower in early 2023 and posted a 1-year low of $19.83 per troy ounce in March. Silver prices were undercut when Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress in March that the Fed might speed up the pace of its rate hikes due to persistent inflation. Silver prices then reversed and rallied into May when they posted a 2-year high of $26.20 per troy ounce. Silver prices rallied after the FOMC at its May meeting hinted its tightening campaign might be nearing an end. However, silver then retreated into October as the 10-year T-note yield rose to a 16-year high and the dollar index rose to a 1-year high. Also, China's economy was underperforming due to its long-standing property crisis, which curbed demand for industrial metals. Silver prices then pushed higher into year-end after Fed Chair Powell signaled in December that the Fed was done with its tightening cycle and would pivot toward cutting interest rates in 2024. Silver prices finished 2023 little changed yr/yr at $23.85 per troy ounce.

Supply - World mine production of silver in 2023 remained unchanged yr/yr at 26,000 metric tons, below the 2016 record high of 28,600. The world's largest mine producers in 2023 were Mexico with 24.6% of world production, China with 13.1%, Peru with 11.9%, Chile with 5.4%, Poland with 5.0%, Russia as well as Australia and Bolivia with 4.6%, and the US with 4.2%. US production of refined silver in 2022 fell by -23.1% yr/yr to 4,803 metric tons.

Trade - US imports of silver bullion in 2022 fell by -27.8% yr/yr to 3,782 metric tons. The bulk of US silver imports come from Mexico and Canada.

Information on commodities is courtesy of the cmdty Yearbook, the single most comprehensive source of commodity and futures market information available. Its sources - reports from governments, private industries, and trade and industrial associations - are authoritative, and its historical scope for commodities information is second to none. The CRB Yearbook is part of the Barchart product line. Please visit us for all of your commodity data needs.

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