Platinum Prices Vulnerable To Further Losses

Since setting a high on April 14 of $1,471.50 an ounce, basis the New York Mercantile Exchange July contract, platinum prices are down 5%. As of 11:05 a.m. EDT, July platinum traded at $1,399.40.

Platinum prices started to fall when gold had its big tumble on April 15, but the white metal extended those losses on news April 17 that South African miners Implats and Amplats sweetened an offer to the striking workers.

Bart Melek, vice president and head of commodity strategy at TD Securities, said platinum could be at risk for further losses if the strike ends. That has a greater likelihood of happening since the AMCU went to its members with the latest offer, some platinum analysts say.

The fundamentals for platinum remain solid though, he said. An improved global economy will support platinum and rising auto purchases in Europe compared to levels seen in the past few years will mean more platinum usage in diesel-powered cars. Melek said platinum sponge premiums are strong, signifying the industrial demand for the metal.