In the Press

Gold forecast: What lies in store for the yellow metal?

As in the past, gold remains a safe haven asset, with investors flocking to it during uncertain times including black swan events such as COVID-19. Metals Focus MD, Philip Newman explains, “ Towards the end of 2022, there was a high demand for small bars and coins in Europe and the US.” However, he points out that institutional investors, such as hedge funds, view the situation differently. “Their focus has very much been on how the US Federal Reserve bank will behave in terms of its rate policy. Barring another crisis next year, I believe that this will remain the key driver for 2024.” By Mining Review Africa

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Mixed tidings for SA as electric vehicles rev up performance

The presence of above-ground stocks and investor shorting outweighed physical shortages, according to Metals Focus, which analyses precious metals markets. A reduction in Chinese PGM imports this year and continuing concerns about the rate of China’s growth is set to continue the theme of depressed metal prices in 2024. “Looking ahead to this year, we anticipate a continuation of these dynamics,” it says in a report published this month. By David McKay for Mining Mx

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As price parity beckons, substitution from palladium to platinum to wane

Platinum and palladium are effectively interchangeable in gasoline autocatalysts, which account for 80% of total palladium demand. Consultancy Metals Focus estimates total palladium and platinum demand at 9.7 million ounces and 8.1 million ounces, respectively. “We are already seeing substitution slowing down or in some cases stopping,” said Nikos Kavalis at Metals Focus, adding that the process would eventually reverse. “It won’t be an overnight change, as autocatalyst designs can happen a long time before cars actually come off the production line.” By Brijesh Patel and Polina Devitt for Reuters

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India drags global demand for silver in 2023 with lower jewellery, silverware offtake

Global demand for silver will likely decline 10 per cent in 2023 with offtake of silver jewellery and silverware declining by 22 per cent and 47 per cent, respectively, with India being the prime factor behind the dip. Key findings reported by Philip Newman, Managing Director at Metals Focus, and Sarah Tomlinson, Director of Mine Supply, during the Silver Institute’s Annual Silver Industry Dinner showed that globally, total silver demand is forecast to ease by 10 per cent to 1.14 billion ounces in 2023. By Subramani Ra Mancombu for The Hindu Business Line

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For how much longer will Transnet derail our economy?

During a recent conversation I had with Sarah Tomlinson, Director of Mine Supply at international consulting and research firm, Metals Focus, she mentioned that investors look for favourable conditions when deciding to put their money in mining. This include political stability, favourable tax laws and proper infrastructure. By Gerard Peter for Mining Review Africa

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Gold prices hit record highs, will the rally continue? Experts weigh in

“At this point in time, we see no reason why the Fed will alter its course of remaining hawkish for much of 2024. So we don’t think interest rates will be cut until very late next year. So under that scenario, as the market moves towards the Fed’s position, we think you will see liquidations by investors and then that will gradually weigh on the prices. So we think gold will gradually weaken and head towards $1,900 per ounce and then head back towards $1,800 level as we move through 2024,” Newman told CNBC-TV18. By Manisha Gupta for CNBC-TV18

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Gold Digger: Every cloud has a silver lining

Despite a challenging economic backdrop, global silver industrial demand is expected to achieve a new all-time high in 2023, according to Metals Focus. This, coupled with a slight dip in total supply, will see the silver market post another sizeable deficit in 2023. Overall demand is expected to fall by 10% year on year to 1.14 billion ounces in 2023 – thanks to weaker investment demand — but this drop must be set against 2022’s record high total, Metals Focus says. By Reuben Adams for Stockhead

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AI Surge To Fuel Precious Metals Demand In 2024

Metals Focus, an independent precious metals research consultancy, released a note recently that said it expects the increased demand for chips powering AI technology to drive “widespread support for a range of precious metals bearing components.” Industrial and tech demand for precious metals has been muted this year due to sluggish global economic activity. For instance, the demand for gold in the tech and industrial sector was down 3% year-on-year in the third quarter with offtake in the electronics sector dropping by 4%. By ZeroHedge for OilPrice.com

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New bank misery will dictate gold’s direction more than geopolitics

It’s often said there is a negative correlation between rates and gold, but not always. There are times when gold and rates increase, such as in the 1970s. More recently, gold had a trough-to-peak rally of nearly 28% and missed the record in 2022 by less than $10 an ounce, during which time the Fed took policy rates to levels not seen since before the 2008 global financial crisis, according to Metals Focus, a UK research house. By David McKay for Mining Mx

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AI boom could feed precious metals’ demand – Metals Focus

To cope with the evolution of AI algorithms, shipping growth for AI servers and switches will rise by double digits over the next few years and stimulate precious metals demand, Metals Focus said. Demand will rise for platinum alloys used in chip manufacturing, silver-palladium Ag-Pd multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) in high power components, gold bonding wire in chip and memory packages, gold plating in printed circuit boards and palladium plating on lead frames, it added. By Ashitha Shivaprasad and Arpan Varghese for Reuters

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Silver to benefit from solar sector demand once rates peak

Demand from the sector could reach 170-180 million ounces if new PV installation exceeds 400 gigawatts (GW) by 2025, said Philip Newman at consultants Metals Focus. However, solar panel manufacturers, having long been mindful of silver supplies after the price briefly hit $50 per ounce in 2011, will continue to reduce silver loadings through structural design improvements, Newman added. By Ashitha Shivaprasad for Reuters

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How the wheels came off for SA’s platinum group metal miners

Platinum’s return will provide a timely reminder to a mining industry rule that minerals such as rhodium are byproducts — and no-one mines for byproducts alone, says Metals Focus’s Swarts. “Short-term price spikes are ultimately value-destructive”, she says. Learning this lesson will be valuable as platinum, and other minor metals such as iridium and ruthenium, take centre stage in the development of “green hydrogen” — a vast industry, driven by the world’s decarbonisation needs and extending into a multitude of industrial sectors. By David McKay for Mining Mx

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Gold ESG Focus 2023 Report Hinted at Lower GHG Emissions

Metals Focus- the leading precious metals research consultancy announced publication of its Gold Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Focus 2023 report. As per the report published by the UK-based consultancy, the world gold mining industry has shown significant improvement in key ESG metrics during the previous year. The report outlines the data for 17 major gold miners across the globe, in comparison with 2014 figures, so as to provide a broad outline of ESG trends in the gold mining industry. By Paul Ploumis for ScrapMonster

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Silver will outperform gold as industrial demand picks up – BMO

Following record PV installations in 2022, Metals Focus projects another new high for installed capacity this year. “In the latest global PV market outlook released by Solar Power Europe, the installed capacity forecast for this year has increased significantly by 33% compared with the previous version, and the forecast for 2024 has also increased by 42%,” they said. By Ernest Hoffman for Kitco News

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Energy & precious metals – weekly review and outlook

“Investors have been coming in at these low-$1,900s levels and they’ve been buyers, but equally, when gold has strengthened, they’ve been sellers. That’s helped to cap that range,” said Philip Newman, managing director of Metals Focus. “Investors are very focused on the expectation element of interest rates, as opposed to where they are actually, because of the Fed’s consistent messaging that it’s not about to lower rates and any rate drop has been pushed out into 2024,” Newman added. By Barani Krishnan for Investing.com

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European silver purchases collapse in 2023 while U.S. maintains record pace

Following a massive year of physical silver purchases in both the United States and Europe in 2022, the two regions have gone in very different directions this year, according to analysts at Metals Focus. “During 2020-22, exceptionally strong demand for silver coins and bars by western retail investors was an important feature of the global silver market; this in turn contributed to a widening physical deficit,” the analysts wrote in the latest Precious Metals Weekly report. By Ernest Hoffman for Kitco News

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