RISING AUTO DEMAND AND SURGE IN INVESTMENT TO PUSH PLATINUM MARKET BACK INTO DEFICIT
A surge in investment buying and higher automotive consumption will underpin a nine percent gain in gross platinum demand in 2019, offsetting weakness in the Chinese platinum jewelry market, where platinum faces increased competition from karat gold jewelry.
Automotive demand for platinum will rise by three percent this year, due to greater platinum use on trucks. In China, platinum consumption on heavy duty vehicles will increase sharply, with strict China VI emissions legislation due to be implemented in some provinces and cities starting in July 2019. The new regulations will apply nationwide from July 2020, while India will also introduce strict emissions regulations for trucks next year.
South African platinum supplies have been flat for several years but could rise slightly in 2019, if producers can clear processing backlogs. However, there is some downside risk due to the potential for disruption from electricity shortages or strikes.
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