2023 first quarter platinum market review said, Jewellery demand-the global platinum jewellery market contracted by 2% (-11 koz) year-on-year to 455 koz in Q1’23, although performances varied by region. In Europe, demand increased by 5%, as above-expectation gains for high-end jewellery offset a weaker bridal market.
North American demand eased by 4% (-5 koz) in Q1’23, as the number of weddings normalised and consumer expenditure shifted to services. That said, offtake in North America remained a full 26% up on Q1’19. Consumer offerings continued to grow as price differentials versus white gold allow retailers to earn decent margins on platinum.
In China, although consumer sentiment improved notably in Q1’23, platinum demand fell by 14% (-18 koz) year-on-year. The unexpected lack of post-Covid rebound was primarily due to fierce competition from gold. Rising confidence in gold prices was driven by seasonal festival demand over the Chinese New Year and safe-haven purchases on the back of global economic uncertainties.
The fact that the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) increased gold reserves for a third consecutive month further boosted local consumers’ interest in gold jewellery. Some manufacturers and showrooms continued to allocate more funds towards inventory in gold as they enjoyed higher turnover and profits.
In some instances, manufacturers have suspended their platinum jewellery offerings completely. In Japan, the market for platinum jewellery was disappointing during the first quarter. A lacklustre bridal segment, weaker TV shopping channel sales (not surprising given an ease in Covid concerns, which is reducing consumer screen time) and some inventory adjustments all put pressure on local jewellery manufacturing.
Indeed, were it not for rising exports, we might have seen an overall decline year-on-year during Q1’23. Indian platinum jewellery fabrication rose by 10% year-on-year to a first quarter record of 38 koz. Compared to higher gold price volatility, platinum prices have remained relatively stable, which has attracted consumers in India to the metal.
This was reflected in relatively strong demand compared to other precious metals. Additionally, fabrication was helped by growth in new stores and a greater number of existing retailers displaying platinum jewellery; said in a Platinum Quarterly Q1 2023 of WPIC.
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