Platinum jewellery demand to hit two-year high

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Boom led by demand in China but European sales look set to weaken.

Global demand for platinum jewellery is set to reach a two-year high with an increase of 2% to 2.47 million ounces, according to the Johnson Matthey Platinum 2011 interim report delivered at the London Stock Exchange this morning.

The surge will be led by strong demand for platinum jewellery in China, which is the largest market for platinum jewellery in the world. Johnson Matthey director for precious metals marketing Mark Bedford added that India is also a market to watch as consumers there start to buy into platinum jewellery.

In Europe, demand for platinum jewellery is expected to fall. Johnson Matthey said it expects the market to weaken by between 10,000 and 165,000 ounces. However, it added that it expects platinum to maintain its stronghold in the bridal market, particularly in the face of rising gold prices.

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Platinum jewellery recycling is also expected to decline this year by 6% to 690,000 ounces worldwide. Again, this would appear to be led by China as retailers in the country are recycling less old stock due to the boom in demand from consumers.

In North America demand for platinum jewellery is expected to remain flat, with growth forecast for the luxury sector but a dip forecast for the middle market with many manufacturers reducing weights to fit in with desired retail price points.

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