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Surging Demand for Silver

This is a transcript of top stories presented by China's CCTV Business Channel as produced by CNBC Asia Pacific.

Good evening, I'm Saijal Patel from CNBC and you're watching "Asia Market Daily".

It's been a record month for sales of the bullion 2010 silver eagle coin — as more investors turn to silver as a cheaper alternative to gold and to limit their exposure to the dollar and other currencies.

CNBC's Sharon Epperson reports on the other commodity trade.

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At Plaza Collectibles in Manhattan, business has never been better as demand for silver in surging.

(SOT) Lee Rosenbloom, Global Research Head of Global Commodity Research, BofA Merrill Lynch

"We've seen a tremendous demand, both in new and older silver coins, this is probably the in the last 25 years the strongest demand we've seen."

While gold coins trade based on a spot price that is over $1,300 an ounce, silver coins are based on futures prices that are under $30 an ounce — making them a more affordable alternative.

(SOT) Francisco Blanch, Principal, Plaza Collectibles

"$20, $30, $40 these are relatively cheap gifts and ways for people to accumulate wealth, store wealth, and I think that's part of what's driving this silver price."

The U.S. Mint says strong interest in the cheaper precious metal has driven silver coin sales up sharply this year, rising more than 22% from the same period last year.

Here in the futures markets silver prices are up 60 percent so far this year, on this investment demand as well as industrial demand, which has risen 18% from this time a year ago.

(SOT) Scott Travers, Author of 'The Coin Collectors Survival Manuel'

"It's probably a better opportunity now than we've ever seen historically for collectors of silver coins."

But for retail investors who aren't as interested in holding the actual silver metal, exchange traded funds may be a better alternative.

(SOT) Philip Klapwijk, Executive Chairman, GFMS

"You're going to be paying double digit percentage spreads over silver coins which is for some buyers at least a major disincentive."

Which is why many investors have flocked to funds. Holdings in the largest silver exchange traded fund are near a record high. Sharon Epperson, CNBC, New York.

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That wraps up today's "Asia Market Daily".

I'm Saijal Patel from CNBC.

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