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November 18, 2009

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Demand for jewelry a boost for platinum

CHINA'S record demand for platinum jewelry is expected to help shore up global demand, an industry report said yesterday.

Demand for platinum jewelry in China is forecast to reach 54.5 tons, double that of a year ago, while global demand is expected to rise by 80 percent to 76.2 tons, Britain's Johnson Matthey, an authority on precious metals, said yesterday.

"The big story is from China where platinum jewelry demand hit a record high," the company said.

The correction of platinum prices compared with a year ago helped stimulate demand in China, the world's biggest platinum jewelry market.

Platinum prices hit a record high of about US$2,250 an ounce in early 2008 and fluctuated around US$2,000 an ounce until late July. The white metal is now trading at around US$1,450 an ounce.

China's economic growth helped boost demand. The country's economy expanded 8.9 percent year on year in the third quarter, up from the rise of 7.9 percent in the second quarter.

The strong momentum in China came against sluggish demand in European and North American markets.

In total, global demand for platinum is forecast to drop 4.4 percent this year.


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