Platinum Could Be "Comfortably North of $1,900"


". . .by year-end 2011, according to GFMS' Platinum & Palladium Survey 2011."

Platts, Ben Kilbey

The price of platinum could be "comfortably north of $1,900/oz." by the end of 2011 according to GFMS' Platinum & Palladium Survey 2011, launched in London Thursday.

Executive Chairman Philip Klapwijk noted the price rise should be bolstered by "higher investment on the back of a supportive macroeconomic environment and bullish gold prices."

GFMS sees platinum as registering a gross surplus of ~1 Moz. in 2010a 10% increase to the highest level in GFMS' 12-year data series.

Klapwijk said, "The core message. . .is that, despite a decent rise in fabrication demand. . .there was an even greater supply response, partly as a result of firmer platinum prices."

Looking back over platinum's performance in 2010, GFMS said that a key change in demand was a 16% increase in auto-catalyst fabrication; but the level achieved remained well below pre-crisis levels due to a "sluggish recovery in Europe's diesel sales plus further thrifting for palladium." Led by China, on the back of higher prices, there was a 17% drop in global jewelry consumption.

On the supply side, jewelry scrap increased by 30% with auto-catalyst scrap up a notable 15%. In addition, output in South Africa, for the first time in four years, climbed 3% -- in part bolstered by an increase of a release of material from the process pipeline, according to the GFMS survey. Zimbabwe also helped offset losses elsewhere contributing to a 2% global rise in production.

Platinum fixed Thursday morning in London at $1,822/oz, from a Wednesday afternoon fix of $1,841/oz.

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