Record High Platinum, Silver Jewelry Demand
Gross demand for platinum from the global jewelry industry is on target to grow in 2012 by 10% to 2.73 million ounces, the highest since 2009, according to Johnson Mathey’s recent “Platinum 2012 Interim Review.” With precious metals prices rising, jewelry manufacturing in China has expanded to become the biggest market for such platinum product. Demand for platinum jewelry is anticipated to rise by 25% to 100,000 oz. China is expected to grow 14% to 1.92 million ounces in 2012. Silver jewelry has seen multiple years of demand increase from the jewelry sector, pointing towards a move away from gold.
The heightened demand for platinum jewelry also comes at a time of great stress on the mining sector, due to poor treatment of workers and the stubbornness of the mining corporations to acknowledge their true, fair profit margin.
Considering recycling of old retailer stock and consumer pieces, net platinum jewelry demand in China is expected to grow by 16% to 1.42 million ounces. Platinum purchases by the Chinese jewelry industry through the Shanghai Gold Exchange and Hong Kong traders ran at a three-year high in the first eight months of the year due to low prices.
Driving the demand in part, new Hong Kong jewelry brands have increased the need for manufacture stocks of platinum jewelry. Demand is stalwart throughout mainland China.
Demand for silver jewelry has also been on the rise in recent years, as demand for silver jewelry surpassed the metal’s usage in photography over the past two years. Silver’s share of total precious metals jewelry volume went up over the period to 65.6 percent in 2005 from 60.5 percent in 1999.