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The price of silver closed at over $30 per troy ounce on Friday up from $16.822 at the beginning of 2010. From a recent Wall Street Journal story on silver:

Among the four major precious metals—the others being gold, platinum and palladium—silver is up 74% this year, on track to be the second-best performing commodity after palladium, which is up 86%. Gold, by contrast, is up 26% and copper just under 28%.

Prices are rising despite oversupply and a lackluster recovery in industrial demand. Many analysts expected those factors would keep a lid on prices in 2010. What they didn’t expect was an overwhelming flow of money into the market from investors eager to ride a commodities rally.

Silver closed at an all-time high in January 1980 at $48.70 an ounce, or $129.32 adjusted for inflation.

The Top Silver Producers in 2009

Top-Silver-Producers

Source: The Wall Street Journal

(Click to enlarge)

The top 20 silver producing companies in 2009 are listed below:

S.No. Company Ticker Country Output in 2009
1 BHP Billiton BHP Australia 42.0
2 KGHM Polska Miedz OTC:KGHMF Poland 38.7
3 Fresnillo plc OTCPK:FNLPF Mexico 37.9
4 Pan American Silver PAAS Canada 23.0
5 Cia. Minera Volcan VCANK.PK Peru 21.2
6 Hochschild Mining OTCPK:HCHDF Peru 18.8
7 Coeur dAlene Mines Corp. CDE USA 17.7
8 Sumitomo Corp. OTCPK:SSUMY Bolivia 17.6
9 JSC Polymetal Russia 17.3
10 Kazakhmys plc OTCPK:KZMYY Kazakhstan 16.9
11 Cia. de Minas Buenaventura BVN Peru 16.0
12 Kinross Gold Corp. KGC Canada 14.0
13 Southern Copper Corp. SCCO USA 13.2
14 Teck Resources TCK Canada 13.0
15 Goldcorp Inc. GG Canada 12.8
16 Xstrata Zinc OTC:XSRAF Switzerland 12.7
17 Industrias Penoles OTCPK:IPOAF Mexico 11.8
18 Eti Gumus, A.S Turkey 11.2
19 Hecla Mining HL USA 11.0
20 Yamana Gold AUY Canada 10.5

Source: The Silver Institute

ETF: iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV)

Disclosure: No positions

Source: Top Silver Producing Countries and Companies