Platinum supply and demand are expected to be more or less in balance in 2004, ending a run of five successive years of supply deficit, according to Johnson Matthey’s Platinum 2004 , released May 17.
In 2003 the platinum market was 280,000 ounces (8.7 tons) in deficit, as supply of the precious metal fell short of expectations, according to the annual report. Supplies grew by 4.5% to 6.24 million ounces (194.1 tons), although some mine expansions in South Africa fell behind schedule. In 2004 total platinum supply is projected to rise more strongly as expansion projects gain momentum.
Global demand for platinum for jewelry fell by more than 13% to 2.44 million ounces (75.9 tons) in 2003 as high metal prices discouraged fabrication in China, the largest market. Sales in Japan also were down, affected by weak consumer demand and increased recycling of metal from stocks. Total jewelry demand may fall again in 2004, although much will depend on the reaction of Chinese buyers to platinum price movements, the report states.