WPIC lowers platinum surplus forecast, notes healthy demand

T he World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) has adjusted its platinum supply forecast for this year downward from a 375 000 oz surplus to a 345 000 oz surplus.

The WPIC stated in its latest Platinum Quarterly report, released on Friday, that refined production should grow by 5% this year, as some mining projects ramp up, but mostly owing to the refining of metal built up in the processing pipeline in 2018.

Recycling is forecast to grow by 3% as an increase in platinum recovered from autocatalysts more than offsets a decrease in jewellery recycling owing to the low platinum price.

The WPIC reports that total supply and mine supply of platinum in the second quarter of the year were 1% lower year-on-year and 2% lower year-on-year, respectively. This was owing to pipeline movements in Russia and South Africa.

The WPIC expects refined output from south Africa, excluding stock releases, to be about 5 000 oz less year-on-year this year, as the ramp-up in new projects is more than offset by the expected reduction in yield in mature, high-cost operations.

Inclusive of one-off stock releases, the country’s refined platinum production is likely to grow by 5% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the WPIC predicts demand for this year will be 9% higher year-on-year, owing to an increase in investment demand, which should offset lower automotive and jewellery demand.

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