COVID-19 to reduce global platinum demand by 7.2% in 2020

Global platinum demand is set to fall by 7.2% in 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic driving significantly lower demand from the auto and jewellery sectors. Typically these two sectors would account for 34% and 24% of total demand, respectively, with the remainder for industrial uses and investment, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Ankita Awasthi, Senior Mining Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “China and Japan are the top two platinum-consuming nations and together account for 35.5% of global demand. Overall, demand from China and Japan is expected to fall by 9.2% and 11.8%, respectively. In China, the metal demand for jewellery, industrial/investment, automotive and other uses is expected to contract by 14%, 4.6% and 3.9%, respectively. Meanwhile in Japan, metal demand from these segments is expected to decline by 14% for autocatalysts, 12.1% for jewellery and 7.5% for industrial uses.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is significantly impacting demand for platinum from the auto sector, over the coming years the implementation of stricter emission standards is expected to see demand recover. China has the world’s largest automobile industry and consumes 7.1% of the metal for autocatalysts. The pandemic led to the closure of industrial belts and a lockdown of Chinese cities during March 2020, resulting in a 79.1% fall in the country’s automotive sales in February, and a 43.3% fall in March. However, with the easing of lockdowns and opening of the economy, sales grew by 4.4% in April, 14.5% in May and 11.6% in June.

China also began implementing tighter emission 6 standards across different cities from mid-2019 and by April 2020, 16 major Chinese regions had completed implementing the China 6 standard. Along with the passenger car substitution demandincreased demand from heavy transport diesel engine vehicles to meet the strict China 6 norms is expected to push consumption growth in the coming years.

Awasthi adds: “While the recent decision to defer further implementation of the China 6 standards across the country by six months to January 2021 will delay consumption growth temporarily, over 2020-2024, platinum demand from the automobile industry is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.8% globally and by 9.5% in China.”

“Between 2020 and 2024, overall platinum demand is expected to increase by a CAGR of 4.3%, supported also by higher metal demand from industrial/investment and jewellery uses, which are expected to grow at respective CAGRs of 3.9% and 5.5% over the period. Demand for platinum in China and Japan is expected to expand at respective CAGRs of 5.2% and 2.4% over the forecast period.”

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