South African platinum rebound to push market into surplus, says Johnson Matthey
The backlog is about a million ounces. of PGM that accumulated during the outages of the treatment plant last year.
The Matthey report contrasts with a report released Monday by the World Platinum Investment Council that the global platinum market is expected to be more undersupplied this year than expected as the economic recovery fuels increased demand from the industry.
The price of platinum appears to have stabilized around $ 1,200 per ounce. after growing steadily over the past 12 months from a March 2020 low of less than $ 600 per ounce.
Johnson Matthey says higher price points are hitting investments, with Japanese bar purchases turning negative in early 2021 and ETF buying moderate.
Chinese retailers sourced platinum jewelry in the second half of 2020, according to the report, but the recovery has stalled due to a reduction in the discount on gold.
In contrast, the palladium and rhodium markets are expected to remain in deficit in 2021. Both metals recorded record prices in early 2021, with palladium climbing above $ 3,000 and rhodium climbing repeatedly to 30,000. $.
In response, automakers have stepped up economy and substitution programs, seeking to reduce the use of these metals in gasoline-powered automatic catalysts. Despite this, palladium and rhodium will experience double-digit growth in automotive demand in 2021, as vehicle production rebounds and primary markets gradually shift to stricter emissions regulations and more testing procedures. strict.
“The overall PGM content of catalyst systems continues to increase, in line with tighter emissions laws in many regions,” Rupen Raithatha, director of market research at Johnson Matthey, said in a press release.
According to the analyst, the automotive sector is also supporting demand for palladium and rhodium, despite aggressive saving and substitution programs among virtually all global automakers.
The growing share of platinum in the automotive PGM mix supports higher price points, and demand for platinum in gasoline cars is expected to soar in 2021, albeit from a weak base.
Platinum will also benefit from the gradual introduction of China’s VI emissions legislation. Meeting the China VI limits requires a complete overhaul of heavy diesel catalyst systems, Raithatha said. He expects Chinese diesel truck loadings to triple this year.
High prices will also encourage increased recycling of PGMs from discarded vehicles, but platinum recoveries will be limited by technical difficulties in dealing with diesel particulate filter waste.
“Minor” PGM outputs; Both ruthenium and iridium saw sharp price increases in early 2021, reflecting strong industrial purchases, disruptions in South African supply, and growing investor awareness of the potential for using GMPs in markets. hydrogen applications.