Miners’ Strike, Russian Sanctions Factor Into 5% Drop for Platinum

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The price of platinum and its metal cousin, palladium, continued to see their prices move chaotically on the LME as the South African Miners’ strike drags on and new sanctions against Russian individuals further threaten to curtail supplies. Russia is the second-largest producer of platinum in the world. South Africa is the largest and disruptions in the two countries that together produce most of the world’s platinum could lead to additional costs for automakers if the metal becomes scarce. Platinum is used primarily in catalytic converters of diesel-burning vehicles.

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Platinum mining in South Africa has ground to a halt since the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union went on strike on Jan. 23 to demand higher pay. Mining companies had built up their inventories before the strike, but those stockpiles have dwindled as the strike stretches into its 11th week.

Following two days of increases, the price of US platinum bar dropped by 5.0 percent to end at $1,413 per ounce on Monday, April 28. Japanese platinum bar gained 0.7 percent to finish at JPY 4,660 ($45.45) per gram. The price of Chinese platinum bar increased 0.3 percent to CNY 304.00 ($48.62) per gram.

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Following a 1.5 percent rise on Monday, the price of Japanese palladium bar closed at JPY 2,625 ($25.60) per gram. Chinese palladium bar prices rose 1.1 percent to CNY 183.00 ($29.27) per gram. After a 0.1 percent increase, US palladium bar finished the day at $800.00 per ounce.

Chinese gold bullion prices inched up 1.0 percent to CNY 262.20 ($41.93) per gram. At JPY 4,249 ($41.44), the price of Japanese gold bullion finished the market day up 0.5 percent per gram. Indian gold bullion saw its price rise 0.1 percent to INR 28,435 ($469.64) per 10 grams. US gold bullion stayed flat at around $1,294 per ounce.

Japanese silver finished the day up 1.1 percent to JPY 648.00 ($6.32) per 10 grams. The price of US silver closed at $19.52 per ounce. Following a couple days of improvement, the metal’s price weakened by 0.7 percent. At CNY 4,120 ($658.88), the price of Chinese silver finished the market day up 0.2 percent per kilogram. After a 0.2 percent increase, Indian silver finished the day at INR 44,290 ($731.51) per kilogram.

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