[QUOTE=aldevo;421062]Silver, as a commodity, is also starting to pose a problem for professional/industrial users.
And it isn't just the $-denominated price of silver (which, I see as I write this, has gone above 13 USD, once again). Distributors are requiring greater volume purchases of the stuff than before. It could be that Ilford has to put larger orders in than previously...
To put this in perspective, I heard from my dentist this week that it's now virtually impossible to use silver in dental amalgam for fillings. Much of that had been replaced by composite-style fillings but amalgam is still better for the chewing surfaces of back teeth. Simply put, dental supply houses can't stock the stuff because they have to put too much money up front to get it in the volumes the brokers want to sell it at.
Silver seems to be getting sucked up as a relatively oil-neutral (not sensitive to the "petrodollar" phenomenon) currency hedge by India and selected countries. And I suspect this problem could be with us for a while.
I hope this doesn't pose a problem to smaller uses of the stuff (Foma, Kentmere, Efke), and I have know immediate reason to suspect that it does, but it seems every little macroeconomic sneeze causes the analog manufacturers to catch a cold.