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SchiffGold: Industrial Demand for Platinum Driving Significant Supply Shortfall

Article published: 21 November 2023

IB Economics Syllabus: Microeconomics (Supply and Demand, Market Equilibrium)

The platinum market is experiencing a significant supply shortfall due to record industrial demand, as reported by the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC). The 2023 deficit is projected at 1.07 million ounces, with expectations of this shortfall extending into 2024. This situation is attributed to a 3% decline in total supply and a 26% increase in demand compared to 2022. Industrial demand, particularly from the green energy sector, is a major driver, with uses such as platinum-based glass fibers in wind turbine rotor blades. The automotive industry also contributes to this demand, with platinum used in catalytic converters. Despite a projected decline in jewelry market demand, overall, the platinum market faces a challenging supply-demand dynamic, with speculation about future price movements and investment interest.

IB Economics (IA) Commentary Suggestions:

In your IA, explore the supply and demand factors affecting the platinum market. Analyze how industrial and automotive demands influence market equilibrium and prices. This case provides an opportunity to discuss the concept of scarcity, focusing on how limited platinum resources are allocated in various industries and the implications for market prices and efficiency. Also, make sure to use the data in your diagrams.

Source of image: SchiffGold Website

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