Platinum Shortage Most in 14 Years as Palladium Deficit Narrows

Platinum demand will exceed supply by the most since 1999 this year as more industrial purchases and investment outweigh slower buying by jewelers and carmakers, Johnson Matthey Plc (JMAT) said. Palladium’s shortfall will narrow as consumption falls faster than supply.
While car manufacturers will buy less platinum for the first time since 2009, more demand from chemical, electrical and glass industries and record investment will widen the shortage by 78 percent to 605,000 ounces, London-based Johnson Matthey said today in a report. Palladium’s deficit will narrow 36 percent to 740,000 ounces as less electrical, jewelry and investment demand outweighs the biggest ever purchases for metal used in catalytic converters and lower Russian stockpile sales.
The metals outperformed gold and silver this year on speculation improving economies will boost demand for materials used in car pollution control devices. Lower supply from South Africa because of mine strikes and cutbacks and falling sales from Russian government palladium inventories helped keep the commodities in a shortage since 2012. The deficits will probably continue next year, Johnson Matthey said.

“We expect little or no serious recovery in South African supplies,” Alison Cowley, a market analyst at Johnson Matthey, said in an interview in London. For platinum, “we’re seeing good demand from most industrial applications. In palladium it’s really an autocatalyst story.”

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