Global jewellery demand slipped further, contracting by 5% year-on-year (-26 koz) to reach 455 koz. European demand eased by 1% in Q3’23 as double-digit losses for bridal jewellery continued (mainly the result of fewer weddings), while the high-end brands continued to see robust gains. Contacts were certain that demand from the latter was much stronger than public data (such as hallmarking or corporate results).
Although the price differential to gold widened, North American offtake dipped 3% year-on-year in Q3’23, chiefly due to the normalisation of wedding numbers. Demand at the trade level was also hit by the newly important factor of the rise of lab-grown diamonds making retailers cautious about stocking the ‘wrong’ stone.
Indian platinum jewellery fabrication rose by 15% year-on-year to 39 koz but declined by 6% quarter-on-quarter. Fabrication averaged 70% higher than the pre-pandemic (2018–2019) average of 28 koz. This owes much to an aggressive expansion of organised chain stores, which in turn has enabled further penetration of platinum jewellery in India as these retailers expand into smaller cities and towns.
Moreover, with India’s economy still growing at a healthy pace, and in particular the urban economy doing very well, platinum jewellery purchases have remained buoyant. During the quarter, fabrication was also supported by retailers building inventory ahead of the wedding and festive season. Apart from store expansions, many branded retailers have started to actively promote platinum jewellery to help improve their margins.