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GFMS: Platinum and Palladium Jewelry Demand Declines

May 15, 2015 1:25 PM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... Thomson Reuters' “GFMS Platinum & Palladium Survey 2015” revealed that the platinum market recorded a production deficit in 2014, prior to inventory movement, of 1.02 million ounces, mainly due to significant worker strike actions  in South Africa. Platinum production plunged 21 percent year on year to a 15-year low of 4.7 million ounces, the report stated. Nonetheless, inventory remains "abundant."  Palladium has held to a deficit since 2007; however, the imbalance turned more severe at 1.58 million ounces -- the largest in more than a decade, GFMS stated. Palladium production dropped 7 percent to 6.04 million ounces, which was a 12-year low.

GFMS anticipates that prices for platinum will average  $1,170 per ounce this year, a drop of 16 percent compared with the average for 2014, while the average price for palladium is forecast to remain the same year on year at $800 per ounce.

Jewelry scrap platinum increased 5 percent in 2014, largely driven by a 7 percent increase in China and a 4 percent rise from Japan. But in North America, jewelry scrap fell 8 percent as consumers held out for higher prices, GFMS noted. Platinum jewelry manufacturing declined 3 percent to 2.57 million ounces, marking the first decline in three years, which was attributed to lower manufacturing levels in China (down 5 percent) and Japan (down 2 percent), while demand in Europe fell 3 percent. Platinum jewelry demand rose 3 percent in North America.
Palladium jewelry scrap increased 8 percent and  9 percent in China alone, which accounts for 80 percent of the total.  Palladium jewelry demand fell for a sixth consecutive year, dropping 9 percent to 470,400 ounces -- the lowest level since 2004, GFMS noted, with China's  offtake plunging 16 percent.

Tags: China, Europe, GFMS, Jeff Miller, Jewelry, Manufacturing, Palladium, platinum
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