Platinum recycling to reach US$9 billion by 2018
The platinum group metals (PGMs) are used to make valuable jewellery.
The platinum group metals (PGMs) are used to make valuable jewellery.

It has the potential to expand from US$6 billion in 2013 to about US$9 billion by 2018.

The platinum group metals (PGMs), platinum, palladium and rhodium, have significant catalytic properties and are used to make valuable jewellery. Future demand is expected to be heavily influenced by the automobile industry, while jewellery demand for platinum is expected to see significant growth among the key economies of Asia, such as China. Demand for platinum metals in industrial applications is also expected to rise along with the growing global economy.

The PGMs recycling industry has sustained growth in the last decade and is likely to continue this growth into the next decade because of their increasing value and an expansion of technologies which depend on their physical properties. Economic growth in China, India Brazil and elsewhere has fostered a global increase in the use of automobiles, electronic devices and jewellery, all of which use recycled platinum metals. Additionally, within the industry, there has been growing innovation over the past decade in the technologies of PGM recycling.

Rising PGM prices which have occurred in recent decades have led to an increase in the recycling of these metals, which are used in automobile catalytic converters and electronic components.

Opportunities in Asia

According to “Recycling of Platinum, Palladium and Other Platinum Group Metals – a Global Technology, Industry and Market Analysis”, published by Innovative Research and Products, the Asian region offers the greatest opportunities for growth, a trend that is expected to continue through 2018. Its market is is expected to expand at a rate of approximately 9.2% annually.

The Americas recycled platinum metals market, led by the US, is expected to grow at a good rate in the coming years, while at the same time being one of the world's key sources of recycled platinum metals. Between the years of 2013 to 2018, demand in the Americas will increase by a rate of some 7.5%.

This study also reveals that Europe will likely experience positive growth, estimated at 7.7%. The magnitude of the demand for these recycled precious metals in Europe in the year 2018 is expected to be significantly greater than the current European community market size. The Middle East and Africa are also emerging recycling market for PGMs.