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Global platinum market sees rising demand, lower supply and a reduced surplus in 2018

London, 14 May 2018

  • Q1’18 SA mine supply falls to lowest level for two years
  • Rebound in jewellery and industrial demand to continue in 2018
  • Investment demand buoyed by strong bar and coin buying in Q1’18

“Today’s report shows resilient demand for platinum, which will rise modestly this year when compared to 2017. We are still convinced that supply remains constrained. The year will be in surplus overall, albeit it at lower level than 2017.

“We publish today’s figures at the start of the hugely important Platinum Week in London. The price of platinum, which remains at historic lows compared to gold, will be high on the agenda for most attendees. I will certainly be urging those I meet to focus on the fundamentals, rather than short-term negative sentiment that is clouding opinions at present.

“The opportunity for the global platinum market to grow remains undiminished. I have been personally encouraged by recent activities in China, where a number of new WPIC product partnerships, clearly focussed on retail investors, are in the pipeline.”

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 first quarter of 2018 and revisions to both the full year 2018 forecast and 2017 actual.

Today’s report predicts that supply will tighten in 2018 compared to 2017, with South African mine supply falling in Q1 to its lowest level since 2016.

Global demand for platinum is forecast to be marginally up for the year, despite a fall in total global automotive demand, with growth in commercial vehicles insufficient to offset lower demand from passenger cars.

These fundamental shifts will contribute to a reduction in the level of overall surplus for the year, down to 180 koz from a revised surplus figure of 315 koz in 2017. Q1 2018 was in deficit by 125 koz.

Key highlights from today’s report include a predicted recovery in both jewellery and industrial demand for 2018. Global demand for platinum jewellery is predicted to climb by 2% in 2018. This will be powered by strong global economic growth, alongside continued demand from India as larger retailers with multiple stores gain market share from the independent sector. Demand from China is predicted to increase as a platinum campaign to target millennials bears fruit.

An increase in industrial demand (+60 koz) is expected to be fuelled by requirements from the petroleum industry, with use in refining up, led by the recovery in Japan.

In line with previous forecasts, investment demand is predicted to be 250 koz in 2018. Demand in the first quarter of the year was buoyed by strong bar and coin sales, helped by the release of the US Mint’s bullion and proof platinum American Eagle coins.

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