Platinum’s rally stalled in New York on speculation mining companies will increase sales to take advantage of prices at a 16-month high.
The platinum industry faces “a number of issues,” Mark Cutifani, who takes over as chief executive officer of Anglo American Plc in April, said in South Africa today. Returning the company’s platinum unit to profitability will be his main challenge after strikes last year wiped out earnings, Anglo American’s outgoing CEO Cynthia Carroll said yesterday.
“Producers need to take advantage of high prices,” said Bernard Sin, head of currency and metal trading at precious metals refiner MKS (Switzerland) SA in Geneva. “The days of platinum trading cheaper than gold are over.”
Platinum for April delivery was little changed at $1,736.30 an ounce by 7:38 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures yesterday rose to $1,744.50 an ounce, the highest price since September 2011. Gold futures were little changed at $1,678.30 an ounce, silver fell 0.2 percent to $31.81 an ounce and palladium rose 0.1 percent to $765.15 an ounce.
Platinum traded above gold in London last month for the first time since April.
Platinum has jumped 13 percent this year and palladium is up 8.8 percent, compared with gains of 5.2 percent for silver and 0.1 percent for gold. Platinum and palladium are typically found together in mines and are mostly used in pollution-control devices in cars. Trading in all the precious metals in New York is below the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, with palladium volume down 47 percent and silver volume down 44 percent.
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