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Rebound in jewellery and industrial demand to drive 2018 platinum deficit

London, 21 November 2017

  • Jewellery posts growth of 3%, the first in 4 years
  • Industrial demand recovers to 2016 levels with an increase of 9%
  • Supply to stall with South African output set to fall by 2%

“2017 has undoubtedly been a challenging year for the platinum market, but our independent forecast of the fundamental supply and demand drivers for 2018 shows a new, more positive picture emerging. In particular, jewellery demand is expected to return to growth for the first time in four years in 2018. Industrial demand was weak in 2017, but will sharply rebound in the coming year.

On the supply side, as we highlighted in September’s Platinum Quarterly report, supply continues to tighten with the long-term effects of falling capital expenditure and recent closures becoming evident.

Demand from the automotive sector will remain firm, and there is increasing anecdotal evidence that automakers in the US and Europe are actively considering switching from palladium to platinum loadings on gasoline vehicles, which will likely have a considerable impact on short to medium-term platinum demand should it come to fruition.”

Paul Wilson, chief executive officer of WPIC

The World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) today announces the publication of its latest Platinum Quarterly - the first independent, freely-available, quarterly analysis of the global platinum market. This report incorporates analysis of platinum supply and demand for the third quarter of 2017, the full year 2017 and a forecast for 2018. A deficit of 275 koz is expected in 2018, further reducing the availability of Above Ground Stocks of the metal.

Today’s report shows that overall demand for platinum is forecast to increase by 2% in 2018 compared to the full year 2017. Meanwhile, supply is predicted to fall by 1%, due in part to a 2% reduction in South African mine supply compounded by closures in the second half of 2017.

The global platinum jewellery market is predicted to recover by 3% in 2018, buoyed by double-digit growth in the rapidly expanding Indian market, with demand from China currently expected to stabilise. 2018 is predicted to see the first annual increase in platinum jewellery demand since 2014.

After a tough 2017, industrial demand is expected to rebound by 9% in 2018, largely driven by increasing demand from the petroleum and glass sectors. Meanwhile, global automotive demand is expected to remain largely stable, down 1% over 2017, with growth in auto sales in Germany, Spain and Italy being offset by a fall in the UK.

Recycling supply is predicted to increase by 2%, however, the report warns that the increasing complexity of autocatalysts is making recovery of the metal increasingly tough.

Investment demand is predicted to remain flat at 250 koz for 2018, in line with a conservative approach to assessing future demand from the sector.

Alongside a favourable forecast of 2018 supply and demand, today’s report shows that 2017 is likely to end the year in balance with a 15 koz deficit.

Global 2017 platinum supply is expected to fall 1% year-on-year, with mining production projected to be 95 koz lower. South African output is predicted to end the year down 1%, while production from Zimbabwe is estimated to fall by as much as 10%. Recycling supply is expected to remain flat in 2017 as a normalisation of jewellery recycling is offset by modest growth in automotive recycling.

Global demand for platinum is expected to end the year down 6%, largely due to a dip in industrial demand, particularly in the petroleum, glass, chemical and electrical sectors, outweighing gains in the medical sector.

Autocatalyst and jewellery demand are both predicted to be down 1% on the previous year, while investment demand remains at 250 koz as forecast.

For any media requests, please contact:

Claire Maloney or Simon Evans
CNC Communications

+44 (0) 20 3219 8803
+44 (0) 20 3219 8809
[email protected]