Japan Platinum Demand Up 10% in 2010


"Johnson Matthey expects diesel sector to see the most substantial increases."

Japanese demand for platinum is seen growing 10% from a year earlier to 1.155 Moz. in 2010, boosted by the auto and glass-manufacturing sectors, Johnson Matthey said Tuesday.

But while economic recovery helped drive up industrial demand in H110, concerns that sovereign debt problems, tight credit and national austerity steps could weigh on growth make the outlook for the rest of 2010 and 2011 less certain.

Use by the glass-manufacturing sector is forecast to nearly triple to 105 Koz. in 2010 from 40 Koz. in 2009, while gross demand for autocatalysts is seen up 35.4% to 535 Koz. this year from last year's 395 Koz., Johnson Matthey said. The sharp increase in the glass-manufacturing sector reflects new LCD glass-manufacturing lines commissioned in Asia. "A substantial restocking of platinum for glass production is occurring in existing facilities where new production lines are being commissioned," it said. "Demand in all other industrial applications is expected to rise in 2010. . ."

Sales of larger Japanese vehicles, which proportionally have higher platinum catalyst loadings than smaller vehicles, helped boost demand with Johnson Matthey expecting the heavy-duty diesel sector to see the most substantial increases. The rise in platinum demand in autocatalysts for Japanese vehicles is based on projected growth in Japanese car output to 8.7 million units, it said. But car sales and automotive platinum demand this year remained below levels seen in 2008. "Concerns over the economy still weigh heavily on domestic sales of vehicles, while an uncertain economic climate and the damage to Japanese manufacturers' reputations from recent safety recalls mean export markets have not yet fully recovered." The refiner forecast that the recycling of 60 Koz. would result in net platinum demand for autocatalysts of 475 Koz. in 2010.

Related Articles

Get Our Streetwise Reports Newsletter Free

A valid email address is required to subscribe