This report incorporates analysis of platinum supply and demand during the second quarter of 2021, and a revised full year forecast for 2021.
Despite global demand in Q2’21 continuing the positive year-on-year growth trend seen in the previous three quarters, with stand-out rises in automotive and industrial segments, the combination of mines operating at 97% of capacity and the faster-than-expected processing of material built up during plant outages in 2020 meant supply outstripped demand, resulting in a surplus for the quarter of 161 koz.
With recoveries in economic output surprising even the most optimistic growth expectations, platinum demand benefitted and this is expected to continue for the rest of the year. Global platinum demand was up sharply against Q2’20 increasing 23% (+352 koz) year-on-year to 1,907 koz, with 2021 forecast to increase by 1% (+59 koz) over 2020 to 7,753 koz.
Recycle supply has not yet fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels (-13% on Q2’19), but global mine supply was lifted 65% (+615 koz) over Q2’20, bolstered by the processing of a higher-than-expected portion of the backlog created by plant outages in 2020 and a reduction of 34 koz of refined working inventory. The news that 300 koz of the 500 koz of platinum in semi-finished stock is expected to be processed in 2021, not 200 koz as previously anticipated, means that supply for the year rises by 17% (+1,132 koz) and 2021 is now forecast to be in a surplus of +190 koz.