Silver Bars
The economic slowdown could affect silver more than gold, due to its industrial value. Reuters

Silver was the best performing commodity in the past decade with a price rise of 572 percent between 2002 and 2012, says a report from the Lloyds TSB Private Banking Commodities Monitor.

The banking group said the general perception of silver as a safe investment along with a high demand for it in the industrial sector has led to the high prices of the metal.

Gold prices saw the second highest increase, rising 428 percent during the period while tin, copper and lead jumped 414, 406 and 344 percent respectively.

The demand for gold from the emerging economies, rising oil prices and a weak dollar have helped the yellow metal remain steady.

Commodities in general have been doing well rising 161 percent over the decade compared to the 35 percent return from the UK equities in the same period.

Precious metals were seen as the best performing sector, rising by 358 percent since 2002 while energy stood second at 268 percent.

But the past 12 months have seen a 13 percent decline in commodities underscoring the impact of the slowing global economy while at a sector level precious and base metals fell 19 percent.

"Commodity prices have risen significantly over the past decade, partly reflecting strong demand from emerging markets over the period," said Ashish Misra, Head of Investments at Lloyds TSB Private Banking.

Precious metals were the best performing commodity, with their perceived position as a safe haven investment reinforced over recent years amid the financial market turmoil.

"However, with continued global economic uncertainty, commodity prices have weakened somewhat over the past year," he said, pointing out that in future, commodity prices will be driven by demand from emerging economies like China and India.

Analysts also feel that the economic slowdown will have a stronger impact on silver than gold as it is a widely used metal for industrial purposes.

"Beyond investment demand, the fundamental picture for silver is weak," Anne-Laure Tremblay, precious-metals strategist for BNP Paribas told Wall Street Journal earlier.