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November 8, 2021updated 07 Feb 2022 6:21am

Global platinum production to rebound in 2021 after a steep decline due to Covid-19

Global platinum production is expected to increase after a drop in 2020 because of restrictions and challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

By GlobalData

Global platinum production, after falling by 18% in 2020 due to lockdowns and other operational restrictions, is expected to recover by 21.9% to reach 6,028koz in 2021 as demand from the automotive, industrial and jewellery sectors revive. South Africa, the world’s largest producer, is expected to be a key contributor towards this growth in supply, with an increase in output of 34.7%.

Production in South Africa was significantly impacted due to Covid-19 restrictions, particularly during the second quarter of 2020 when strict lockdown measures were enforced.

In the first nine months of 2021, production of platinum and other platinum group metals from Anglo American, the world’s largest producer, increased by 17% to 3.2moz versus output of 2.73moz in the same period last year. This was primarily due to more stable output from its Anglo Converter Plant (ACP) phase A plant, following an explosion in February 2020.

Overall, global platinum production is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 3.8% to 7,004koz in 2025. Globally, 43 platinum projects are currently under development, of which six are under construction and include the Platreef (production start expected in 2022) and Bakubung (2022) in South Africa, the Darwendale (2022), Mupani (2025) and Karo (2022) in Zimbabwe, and the Bamboo Creek (2023) in Australia. These projects are expected to add around 600koz of platinum production capacity and are expected to be operational within the next four years.

GlobalData expects world platinum consumption will expand by 2.4% to 7,509koz in 2021, supported by a recovery in the automotive sector, which is expected to grow by 6.5% in terms of production and 5% in terms of sales. Platinum demand for autocatalysts and jewellery fabrication is expected to grow by 27.1% and 5.3% in 2021, respectively.

However, between 2021 and 2025, the growth in demand for platinum from the autocatalyst sector is expected to expand at a CAGR of just 2.2%, with growth slowing due to the gradual replacement of ICE cars with electric.

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