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Dec. 2003

Platinum prices have been on the rise for the past year and don’t expect that to change within at least six months, according to the annual Platinum 2003 Interim Review compiled by Johnson Matthey. Platinum prices could reach a new 23-year high in the next six months–trading at a forecasted $700 to $820, as demand continues to exceed supply.

Total demand for platinum used in jewelry, however, is expected to slip by 13 percent for 2003, thanks to a drop in Chinese purchases of platinum for the first time in more than a decade. The platinum jewelry segment is being hurt worldwide-despite modest gains in the United States and Europe-by the price increases this year.

Platinum jewelry demand in North America is forecast to rise about 5 percent for 2003, reaching 325,000 oz. Demand is driven by platinum’s stronghold in the bridal category, according to the report, but sales of jewelry in the fashion category remain challenging. Sales of platinum jewelry this holiday season will have a strong impact on platinum jewelry’s performance in 2004, as cautious retailers have continued to keep inventory levels low in a wait-and-see attitude about holiday sales.

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