Platinum Rises to 17-Week High on Supply Woes; Gold Drops

Platinum futures rose to a 17-week high on mounting concern that global demand may outpace supplies. Palladium jumped to the highest since September 2011, and gold declined.

The platinum industry is “in crisis,” Anglo American Plc Chief Executive Officer Cynthia Carroll said today in Cape Town, South Africa. Her company controls Johannesburg-based Anglo American Platinum, the world’s biggest producer, which yesterday reported a 2012 loss as production of refined metal dropped.

“Investors are getting very worried about future supplies,” Miguel Perez-Santalla, a vice president at New York-based BullionVault, said in a telephone interview. “People are watching every development in the region very closely.”

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery rose 0.5 percent to $1,707.20 an ounce at 1:21 p.m. Earlier, the price reached $1,711, the highest for a most-active contract since Oct. 9. The metal has gained 11 percent this year.

Palladium futures for March delivery rose 1 percent to $765.45 on the Nymex. Earlier, the price reached $769, the highest since Sept. 6, 2011. The metal has climbed 8.8 percent this year.

Platinum and palladium are used in jewelry and pollution-control devices for vehicles.

Gold futures for April delivery fell 0.2 percent to $1,673.50 an ounce on the Comex in New York.

Last week, the precious metal gained 0.7 percent, while the dollar retreated 0.8 percent against a basket of six major currencies. A weaker greenback may help gold advance to $1,725, according to Alan Knuckman, the chief market strategist at Chicago-based Optionshop.

Imports into mainland China from Hong Kong almost doubled to an all-time high last year. Mainland China imported 834,502 kilograms (834.5 metric tons), including scrap and coins, compared with about 431,215 kilograms in 2011, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data from the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong government.

Silver futures for March delivery rose 0.5 percent to $31.875 an ounce on the Comex.

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