China’s affinity for platinum is indisputable – it is the country that uses the most platinum in the world and the largest market for platinum jewellery. In fact, against the backdrop of the worldwide economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, purchases of platinum from the Shanghai Gold Exchange grew significantly in the first quarter of 2020, rising from an average of 171,000 oz per quarter in 2019 to 455,000 oz, as manufacturers in the jewellery and industrial sectors responded to global supply uncertainty and the low platinum price and took the opportunity to increase their stock levels.
What is more, platinum is recognised as a metal of strategic importance by the government in China for its use in proton exchange membrane (PEM) technologies that are unlocking the potential of hydrogen to decarbonise industry and transportation. Along with lithium, nickel and cobalt, platinum is specifically mentioned in the China State Council’s New Energy Vehicle Industrial Development Plan (2021-2035), which encourages Chinese companies to improve their capacity to secure long-term supplies of these rare and in-demand elements.
Indeed, China's 14th Five Year Energy Plan now lists development of a domestic hydrogen economy as a key strategic goal, with 11 of its largest provinces committing to significant investment in green hydrogen capacity, fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) refuelling infrastructure and FCEV penetration rates over the next five years. As a result, rapid growth in the deployment of platinum-based PEM technologies is expected.
China is also experiencing a burgeoning interest in platinum as an investment asset – seen by many as a natural progression given the country’s innate appreciation of the unique chemical and physical properties of platinum and its place as the pre-eminent jewellery metal.
This confluence of spheres of interest in platinum means that the launch of Shanghai Platinum Week could not be more timely. With similarities to London Platinum Week, which has successfully acted as a focus for platinum industry participants from across the spectrum for over 30 years, the inaugural Shanghai Platinum Week will take place in the first week of June this year.
Organised by the Precious Metal Industrial Committee at the China Material Recycle Association (PMIC), the Platinum Committee at China Gold Association (PCCGA) and the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC), the purpose of Shanghai Platinum Week is to develop a stronger domestic platinum and platinum group metals (PGMs) market and to improve domestic and international communication and co-operation.
The event is the first of its kind in as much as the 1-2 June comprises a structured event open to all those interested in platinum and PGMs. A list of organisations participating on these two days can be found at the end of this article.
Attending Shanghai Platinum Week
The intention is for Shanghai Platinum Week to become an annual fixture for the PGM industry in China and beyond, acting as an interface between those involved in PGM market development in all its guises, from technology to jewellery and investment.
This year, Shanghai Platinum Week is being held virtually, with the option of in-person attendance for those living in China. Details of Shanghai Platinum Week, including how to register, can be found here.
Participating organisations include:
Anglo American plc; Anglo American Platinum; Antaike; AP Ventures; Bank of China; BASF; China Gold Association (CGA); China Gold Coin Co.; China International Trust and Investment Corporation; Department of Mineral Resources, South Africa; Embassy of South Africa; Heraeus; Institutes of Science and Development, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Johnson Matthey; London Platinum and Palladium Market (LPPM); Metals Focus; Norilsk Nickel; Platinum Guild International (PGI); Precious Metal Industrial Committee at China Material Recycle Association (CPMIC); Royal Bafokeng Platinum; Shanghai Government; Shanghai Jin Tang Lian Metal; Shanghai University; Shanghai Jiao Tong University; Sino-Platinum Metals; World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC); Yue Hao Jewelry
Supporting organisations include:
Anglo American Platinum; Impala Platinum; Northam Platinum; Royal Bafokeng Platinum; Sedibelo Platinum; Tharisa Platinum