Stronger Platinum demand & weaker supply

Recently, World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) published Platinum Quarterly for Q4 2023. According to the Platinum Quarterly Summary 2023, the final quarter of 2023 saw the consolidation of several demand themes across the platinum market. Demand growth from the automotive and industrial sectors led to a fourth consecutive quarterly platinum market deficit, consistent with previously discussed trends.

Notably, this is only the second time within WPIC’s quarterly time series dating back to Q3 2014 where four consecutive quarterly market deficits have been recorded. Mine supply finished the year on a seasonally strong note, but recycling posted the weakest quarterly output in our time series, reflecting the challenges facing the industry. A negative for the quarter was the weak investment environment with particularly significant ETF outflows.

Bringing fourth quarter data into the full year results, the platinum market deficit decreased by 193 koz to 878 koz versus the Q3 2023 Platinum Quarterly published in November 2023, with the difference mostly due to ETF outflows in Q4. The 2023 deficit reflects a 2% decline in total supply and a 25% increase in demand versus 2022.

Recycling supply remained challenged, falling to its lowest annual level in our time series, with autocatalyst recycling declining by 17% year-on-year in 2023 on low end-of-life vehicle availability. Total supply last year of 7,131 koz, was 2% lower versus 2022.

Total platinum demand for 2023 which has been revised down since our last Platinum Quarterly by 141 koz to 8,009 koz, was still up 25% year-on-year. The downward revision is primarily attributable to lower investment demand, which was 265 koz in 2023 (385 koz previously).

However, this still represents a substantial improvement versus 2022 on reduced ETF disinvestment (-20 koz versus -558 koz in 2022), higher bar and coin demand (+49 koz year-on-year) and a minor build in stocks held by exchanges.

Jewellery demand declined 3% year-on-year to 1,850 koz in 2023 as growth in Japan, Western Europe and India was offset by weaker North American and Chinese demand. China was no longer the largest platinum jewellery market, falling to second place behind North America. Combining lower supply and strong demand growth results in the platinum market deficit for 2023 reaching 878 koz, or 11% of total demand, the deepest deficit in our time-series going back to 2013.

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