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Wheaton Precious Metals Predicts More Gold Less Silver This Year

gold and silver prices
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EDITOR'S NOTE: As a gold producer, Wheaton Precious Metals Corp has decided to take a more conservative approach to forecast near-term gold and silver demand. A misstep in forecasting can lead to overproduction which, in turn, can mean smaller revenues and higher input costs. The metals streaming company is looking to produce more gold this year than silver. Its price estimates are at the low end of the range as compared with other analysts. But given the global concerns of runaway inflation and the ongoing uncertainties of the war in Eastern Europe, a bullish bias toward the metals may be warranted although the outcome of these factors is more or less incalculable. So, Wheaton is hedging its bets. Should its forecast be too conservative, it’ll likely end up with windfall profits. Investors, on the other hand, who fail to hedge the market will likely be on the unfavorable end of higher gold and silver prices, plus a significant drop in purchasing power for each dollar that remains unhedged.

Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. is predicting it will produce more gold and slightly less silver this year than in 2021.

On its outlook:

The precious metals streaming company expects to produce 350,000 to 380,000 ounces of gold in 2022, up from 342,546 ounces last year.

For silver production, Wheaton is aiming for 23 million to 25 million ounces this year, down from 26 million ounces in 2021.

The company is targeting 700,000 to 760,000 gold equivalent ounces, on par with 752,958 ounces in 2021.

Wheaton is assuming gold prices to average $1,800 an ounce, with silver at $24 an ounce and palladium at $2,100 an ounce this year.

On its fourth quarter:

Wheaton produced 88,321 ounces of gold, down from 92,039 ounces in the year-ago quarter. Salobo, Wheaton's biggest source of gold, suspended operations for 18 days in October after a conveyor belt fire.

Wheaton produced 6.4 million ounces of silver, down from 6.5 million ounces a year ago. Antamina, the company's second-largest source of silver, had a 29% decrease in production due to lower throughput and grades. In addition, operations at Antamina were briefly suspended to ensure the health and safety of its workforce following localized protests in Peru, the company said.

Lower throughput also reduced palladium production to 4,733 ounces from 5,672 ounces a year ago.

Write to Mary de Wet at mary.dewet@dowjones.com.

Originally published on Market Watch.

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