Down 20% in 7 weeks, platinum has further to fall

Commodity Online reports platinum group metals miners may be hit by the rapid growth in the number of electric cars on the road that do not need catalytic converters. In addition, manufacturers like Nissan have slashed the use of platinum in gasoline-powered vehicles in efforts to keep costs down.

The drop in industrial demand has not nearly been offset by the surge in jewellery sales and platinum has lost almost a fifth of its value since the start of September while palladium is down 23%. FT quotes Barclays Capital research that notes at current levels of about $1,530 an ounce, platinum is trading close to or below the price at which some miners break even and that high-cost producers are already losing money.

Commodity Online reports electric vehicles could help to relieve the long-term problem of short supply of platinum, according to a PGM Market Commentary released by Austin Kiddle of Sharps Pixley, London.

FT reports that cuts in production to stop prices falling further is unlikely as South Africa’s platinum mines, responsible for 75% of world supply, are difficult and expensive to shut down, while the price of labour suspensions and political pressure are also huge disincentives of production cuts.

Economic Times reports in India sales of platinum jewellery are growing 70% in the current fiscal, according to jewellers and Platinum Guild International thanks to the price falling below that of gold.

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