Platinum slides to 18-year lowPosted by Danielle Leiner on July 1, 2015
More than halfway through the year, platinum can’t seem to catch a break, as prices for the precious metal have yet to find a floor.
The end of June is the close of the second quarter, a period where investors and companies take a look at how their sales fared in the previous three months. For platinum, it was another down third of the year, settling at $1,079 per ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange, Bloomberg reported. That’s the longest run of quarterly losses for platinum since 1997.
Prices have slid every quarter since last June, when the five-month-long platinum miners strike in South Africa concluded upon platinum producers made a deal with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union. Africa’s southernmost country is the world’s largest producer of platinum group metals. During the work stoppage, 40 percent of the world’s platinum production came to a stand still.
Though prices for platinum have yet to reach their former territory, supply is slowly but surely getting back to normal, noted David Meger, director of metal trading at High Ridge Futures, LLC. The problem is that added supply hasn’t been accompanied by growth in the precious metal’s desirability.
“The supply situation is improving, but demand has not been strong,” Meger told Bloomberg. “Also, the financial turmoil in Europe is a big negative for these precious metals.”
It’s been a similar story for the world’s largest platinum producer, Anglo American Platinum, one of three producers affected by the strike last year. Prices on June 30 reached their lowest closing value since 2013, triggered by slow moving automotive sales,according to a separate report from Bloomberg. Platinum, along with palladium, is chiefly used in motor vehicle manufacturing.