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By Koustav Samanta and Manolo Serapio Jr
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Indian demand for platinum jewellery will grow by double digits next year, and Japanese consumption will stay strong, the head of Platinum Guild International said, with buyers drawn to prices that are off more than 20 percent from an August peak.
While gold is a low-margin business for Indian jewellers, retailers can scoop up returns of about 50 percent for platinum, said Huw Daniel, chief executive of Platinum Guild International (PGI), an industry group funded by South African platinum producers and refiners.
"Most gold jewellery in India is easily convertible into other forms if necessary, so people buy gold as a savings vehicle. That's not the case with platinum. It's being bought as personal jewellery," he said.
The World Platinum Investment Council in September forecast a 520,000-ounce deficit in the platinum market this year, up from a 455,000-ounce shortfall predicted three months earlier, citing robust demand and weak supply.
In top platinum market China, however, demand remains weak amid an oversupply in jewellery and other luxury goods.
"We're hoping that market will bottom out in 2017," Daniel said.
(Reporting by Koustav Samanta and Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Tom Hogue)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)