5/13/2019

Platinum Supply Tightens as Demand Outstrips Supply

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The global supply of platinum, a catalytic metal used in virtually all vehicle emission control systems, is shrinking this year, Johnson Matthey plc reports.

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The global supply of platinum, a catalytic metal used in virtually all vehicle emission control systems, is shrinking this year, Johnson Matthey plc reports.

The London-based chemical giant says a 9% gain in demand this year is being led by a significant uptick in the use of the metal in catalytic converters for heavy-duty trucks. The surge is strongest in China, where new emission standards for big trucks will begin implementation in July.

Johnson Matthey notes that platinum prices sank to near 10-year lows between mid-2018 and early 2019. During the same period, the price of palladium—a metal that can substitute for platinum in catalytic converters—zoomed to a record high. The company says the gap has revived demand for platinum, and left suppliers unable to keep up.