Overall platinum supply is projected to fall by two per cent year-on-year to 7,330 kilo ounces (koz) in 2017, with both primary and secondary supply expected to decline.
According to the World Platinum Investment Council’s (WPIC)’s publication Platinum Quarterly for the March quarter of 2017, the global demand for platinum is projected six per cent lower (at 7,795 koz) than last year’s demand but the demand-supply gap has fallen 82 per cent, while above ground stock is down three per cent. India’s demand for platinum in the jewellery sector is rising. WPIC said the demand was highest in 2016 with 11.5 per cent increase to 245 koz. Paul Wilson, chief executive officer, WPIC, said, “India’s jewellery demand is expected to grow even faster in 2017.”
Automotive demands, where the white strong precious metal is used as an auto catalyst in converters to reduce carbon emission, fell in 2016 by six per cent to 165 koz. India’s demand for the metal is five to six per cent of the total global demand, and a chunk of it comes from the jewellery and automobile sectors. The metal is used in laboratory instruments and also has some other industrial uses.
“The full-year forecast for automotive platinum global demand is 3,405 koz, down from 3,435 koz in 2016. Despite the loss of diesel share in smaller cars in Western Europe and India, diesel is expected to retain much of the medium and larger car market, at least in the short to medium term,” the report said.
About auto sector demand, the council said, “In India, there are signs that automakers are stopping production of the diesel versions of some of their smaller cars, as diesel loses ground to gasoline. However, with implementation of the GST, this may boost consumer confidence and drive up sales, or the confusion may lead consumers to postpone purchases beyond 2017. These downside risks are likely to affect small cars more than larger ones, so the diesel impact is lessened.”
So far as investment in platinum in India is concerned, the market is yet to develop. India may now see some traction because WPIC has tied up with Muthoot Exim, the precious metals division of the Muthoot Pappachan Group, to launch India’s first platinum deity products.
Paul said, “Today platinum investment is an underexploited market in India, but based on the recent history of growth in jewellery and opportunities we are developing with partners in India, the platinum investment market in India has great potential.”