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Platinum Jumps Most in 13 Months on Signs of Quickening Growth

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Platinum gained the most in more than 13 months after exports rebounded in Germany and China, while a labor dispute threatened to disrupt mine output in South Africa, the world’s biggest supplier.

German exports increased 0.6 percent in June from May, the Federal Statistics Office said today. Chinese shipments overseas climbed 5.1 percent in July from a year earlier, topping forecasts, according to the government. Northam Platinum Ltd., which operates the world’s deepest platinum mine in South Africa, today warned that strike action as a result of deadlocked wage talks will impact operations.

“There are signs of improving demand and that coupled with supply concerns makes platinum very attractive,” Michael Gayed, the chief investment strategist who helps oversee $270 million at New York-based Pension Partners LLC, said in a telephone interview. “We are seeing the bullish sentiment return.”

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for October delivery jumped 3.7 percent to settle at $1,491.60 an ounce at 1:12 p.m., the biggest gain for a most-active contract since June 29, 2012. Prices have fallen 3.3 percent this year.

“Today’s strong economic data out of Europe and China is very bullish for platinum,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.

Chinese jewelers are the world’s biggest platinum consumers followed by European car companies, according to Johnson Matthey.

Production Drop

Global platinum production dropped 13 percent in 2012 as strikes disrupted mining in South Africa. Mine output in the African nation will decline 1.6 percent this year to the lowest since 2000, according to Barclays and Johnson Matthey data. Strikes caused almost 15 billion rand ($1.5 billion) in lost output in 2012, according to South Africa’s National Treasury.

Holdings of the metal in exchange-traded-products reached a record 68.84 metric tons on Aug. 6 as the assets climbed 50 percent this year.

Palladium futures for September delivery climbed 2.1 percent to $738.55 an ounce on the Nymex, after touching $744.90, the highest since July 29.

Demand will exceed output by 1.33 million ounces in 2013, more than North America produces in a year, Morgan Stanley estimates. Credit Suisse anticipates deficits through at least 2016, and researcher CPM Group says mines won’t catch up for a decade.

To contact the reporter on this story: Debarati Roy in New York at droy5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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