To what extent has the growth been driven by investors who are new to platinum versus those who have increased existing holdings?
We've seen both increased platinum holdings among pre-2021 owners and rising new interest this year. As a percentage of all owners, UK and Eurozone investors feature more heavily in platinum than they do in gold, perhaps because – with gold coins and small bars already exempt from sales tax – the VAT savings enabled by BullionVault for platinum makes our proposition so much more efficient to cost-conscious buyers.
That said, UK and Euro investors also feature more heavily in platinum than in silver, which we also offer VAT-free, in contrast to coin and small bar retailers. This suggests that the appeal of platinum's current pricing and its long-term industrial potential is better understood in Western Europe than elsewhere in the world.
How influenced do you think investors are by short-term price fluctuations as opposed to taking a longer-term view based on fundamentals?
The price peaks at the start of 2021 saw customers briefly turn net sellers overall, and this autumn's highs also saw profit-taking spur a small outflow of platinum.
That short-term liquidation hasn't, however, dented the strong underlying growth in client holdings, and while platinum has become a more active two-way market sooner on BullionVault's live order board than gold or silver did, the vast majority of owners are treating it as a buy-and-hold asset.
Almost 90 per cent of current client holdings were acquired at prices below today's level. Again, the sustained growth in those holdings suggests long-term confidence in platinum's prospects.
The WPIC sees bar and coin demand remaining buoyant in 2022, as well as some growth in physically-backed exchange traded funds. What is the outlook for platinum demand in 2022 from BullionVault’s perspective?
Sixteen years of operation have taught us that, in the end, it's the macro and wider financial outlook which tends to drive bullion demand, led of course by interest in gold.
But while that means we don't try to project or forecast activity even one year ahead, we do believe that platinum's continued use in autocatalysts, plus its strategic and fast-growing role in the hydrogen economy, is likely to encourage fresh investment by a wider section of precious-metal investors in 2022 and beyond. I think that long-term case contrasts with current pricing today.