Platinum market deficit to expand sharply in 2018: WPIC – by Peter Hobson (Reuters U.S. – November 21, 2017)

LONDON (Reuters) – The global platinum market deficit will rise sharply next year thanks to resurgent demand from the jewellery and industrial sectors and declining production, an industry report said on Tuesday.

The shortfall will jump to 275,000 ounces from an expected 15,000 ounces this year, the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) said in its latest Platinum Quarterly report.

That would put the industry in deficit for a sixth consecutive year and cut above-ground stocks to 1.605 million ounces by the end of next year, said the WPIC, which is funded by platinum mining companies.

“For five years these stocks have been feeding deficits … it does appear the platinum market is much tighter than it’s ever been in the last five or six years,” said the WPIC’s head of research Trevor Raymond.

Platinum prices have risen 5 percent this year after hitting a more than seven-year low in 2016, but lagged palladium, which is up 45 percent. In September palladium became more expensive than platinum for the first time since 2001.

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