Precious Metals

Platinum's big year? Demand expectations for 2016 out

The U.S. Mint's offering of a platinum American Eagle bullion 1-ounce coin in 2016 adds to the year's overall platinum demand totals.

Images courtesy of U.S. Mint.

Investment demand during 2016 is expected to expand by 45,000 ounces, to 350,000 ounces in 2016, while specific bar and coin demand is anticipated to dip from 2015 levels, according to the World Platinum Investment Council’s latest quarter report.

“The strong level of bar buying in Japan has eased through the first half of the year and is expected to continue to moderate in the second half as the yen is predicted to weaken against the U.S. dollar, raising the platinum price in yen terms,” according to the WPIC report.

The WPIC report notes that, while the U.S. Mint produced only Proof American Eagle platinum coins in 2015, the bullion product is offered as well in 2016. The Austrian Mint also added a platinum bullion version of its Philharmonic coin, further increasing the market demand, according to the WPIC report.

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Above-ground stocks of platinum are estimated to end the year at 1,875,000 ounces, a deficit of 520,000 ounces.

The WPIC defines above-ground stocks to be “the year-end estimate of the cumulative platinum holdings not associated with exchange-traded funds, metal held by exchanges or working inventories of mining producers, refiners, fabricators or end-users.”

South Africa remains the biggest supplier of refined platinum, with 2016 forecast levels at 4,190,000 ounces, 275,000 fewer ounces than in 2015.

Platinum's big year

2016 has been eventful for those following the platinum coin market. 

In May, the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) and Valcambi announced a partnership to increase the availability of platinum bar and coin products for the global retail market, including to those participating in the U.S. retail market. 

Meanwhile at the U.S. Mint, as mentioned above, American Eagle platinum bullion coins were made available for the first time since 2014 on July 25.

One month later, on Aug. 26, the last 2016 American Eagle platinum bullion coins were sold.

The Proof version of the 2016 American Eagle platinum coin sold out in 56 minutes on June 30.

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