A global deficit of platinum in 2023 will be deeper than previously expected due to strong industrial demand, the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) said in a quarterly report on Wednesday, adding that the shortage could persist for years.
Demand for platinum, also used in vehicle exhausts and jewellery, is forecast to grow by 24% this year as some of the auto sector is replacing palladium with cheaper platinum and demand for bars and coins is improving, the WPIC said.
Due to power supply risks and operational challenges, the global supply is expected to rise only by 3% in 2023, leaving the market with a deficit of 556,000 troy ounces compared with the previously expected deficit of 303,000 ounces, the WPIC added.
“The platinum market is forecast to be in deficit after two consecutive years of significant surpluses,” Trevor Raymond, WPIC chief executive, said in the report.
“This year’s forecast deficit is unlikely to be a one-off… with challenges to supply expected to continue and future demand growth… likely to result in deficits continuing for a number of years,” he added.
A worsening of electricity supply shortages in major producer South Africa and sanctions-related operating challenges in Russia are among downside risks to the global supply, the WPIC, which uses data from consultants Metals Focus, added.
The WPIC’s published data does not capture much of China’s platinum imports, which, from the council’s point of view, were far in excess of identified demand since 2021.
The WPIC believes that this metal will not leave China to re-enter Western markets due to domestic export controls and will not help to address the global deficit in 2023.
(By Polina Devitt; Editing by Sharon Singleton)