SMM9, March 17: due to the impact of the epidemic, the global platinum market is expected to have a surplus of more than 1 million ounces this year, and platinum demand may be the slowest to recover after the epidemic, according to Heraeus precious metals, a top platinum group metal smelter.
Platinum is relatively cheap and has attracted new interest from investors this year. Platinum ETF positions reached a record 3.6 million ounces in August after falling to 3 million ounces in April, and platinum ETF positions have increased by 272000 ounces so far this year.
Demand for the metal in jewelry this year is expected to fall 24% year-on-year to 1.6 million ounces, while demand for platinum for automotive catalysts will fall 26% to 2.11 million ounces, and demand for industrial platinum will fall 16% to 1.58 million ounces, Heraeus said.
On the supply side, global platinum production is expected to contract by 18 per cent to 5.05 million ounces in 2020 as the epidemic disrupts mining activities.
Earlier this year, the unexpected shutdown of the Anglo-American platinum converter plant further tightened supply in South Africa, which is expected to fall 24 per cent to 3.39 million ounces this year, while production in Russia and North America will fall by 3 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively. Zimbabwe's production may rise slightly by 2 per cent year-on-year as it continues to operate during the blockade period.
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