The price of platinum has varied greatly over the last 18 months. During the early stages of the pandemic, platinum prices were hit hard by institutional investors panic selling. This drove the platinum price down to levels last seen in the year 2000, and resulted in a spike in demand for smaller bars and coins during the period between March and June 2020. This surge in demand was the result of individual investors taking advantage of the platinum price dip, particularly across Japan and the US.
As the pandemic progressed and concerns in relation to economic instability grew, so did demand for traditional ‘safe haven’ assets such as gold, silver and platinum amongst investors all over the world. Interest in platinum was also fuelled by increasing talks around the green hydrogen economy and the role that platinum has to play within it.
Investor sentiment towards platinum has remained positive in 2021 so far. The price has returned to a six-year high and at The Royal Mint our platinum sales remain strong. We have more customers purchasing platinum coins and bars than ever before. In fact, since 2019, we have experienced a 247% increase in the number of customers investing in platinum with The Royal Mint.
According to the World Platinum Investment Council, 2021 could see the highest demand for automotive platinum since 2018. This demand is anticipated to grow by 25%, which would see it reach almost three million ounces – 5% above pre-pandemic levels. It centres around the use of platinum in emissions control systems, which make use of the precious metal to reduce harmful emissions from diesel internal combustion engine vehicles. This, combined with the fact that the price of platinum remains significantly less than that of gold, or even palladium, could have a positive impact on demand for platinum during the months ahead. In fact, analysts at Metals Focus predict that demand for platinum will persist for the rest of the year.
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