World platinum demand will plateau next year, predicts the WPIC

JOHANNESBURG – THE WORLD Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) yesterday said that it expected the market to remain in deficit for the third consecutive year, following the record deficit recorded in 2020.

The WPIC’s Platinum Quarterly report for the fourth quarter said in 2021 supply was expected to produce a modest -60 000 ounces deficit as a result of a 17 percent increase in total supply and a 3 percent increase in total demand.

The report said total platinum supply was now forecast to rise 17 percent above the 2020 level to 7.93 million ounces, with refined production rising by 21 percent and recycling supply by 6 percent.

South Africa accounted for the majority of the forecast refined production recovery due to mines returning to full operation after 2020’s Covid-19 driven closures, and the December 2020 recommissioning of the Anglo American Platinum’s Anglo Converter Plant Phase A unit.

“However, risks to South African supply do remain in the form of potential electricity supply disruption as power supplier Eskom undertakes major maintenance programmes through the year,” the report said.