The domestic platinum jewellery market has been growing by around 25-30 per cent year-on-year.
Chennai: A sudden spurt in the imports of platinum has left the industry intrigued. In the past two months, platinum imports have gone up by almost four times compared to the same period last year.
During June and July, platinum worth Rs 247 crore was imported into the country against Rs 51 crore in the same period last year—a growth of 384 per cent. In June, the imports went up 215 per cent and more than 500 per cent in July.
During the past few months, the price of platinum too had fallen significantly. From a recent high of $912 per ounce in mid-April prices had come down to $786 an ounce in the end of May. Hence, the increase in import volumes will be higher than in terms of value growth.
It has to be noted that the import of platinum has been growing only by around 20-30 per cent in the months prior to June, as per the data from the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council.
“We get the data from the customs department. We are not aware of any increased demand for platinum in the jewellery sector. Platinum exports come under the category of gold jewellery. Till now we have not witnessed any increase in platinum jewellery exports,’ said the GJEPC spokesperson.
According to Vaishali Banerjee, Managing Director of Platinum Guild International, India, the domestic platinum jewellery market has been growing by around 25-30 per cent year-on-year.
Platinum is used largely for jewellery purposes. It is also used in the automotive industry and as a catalyst in the manufacturing of glass, pharmaceutical products and nitric acid.
“We are surprised to see a spurt in demand. The automotive industry is in a slump and we have not seen any higher off-take from the sector. We produce precious metal catalysts and alloys and supply them to different industries. Industries would probably make one-time purchases when they start some new projects. But we are not aware of any such project,’ said Shailesh Choksi, Managing Director of Ravindra Heraeus.