The leader of South Africa’s largest miners’ union said on Friday a wage deal with the top three platinum producers was imminent, signalling a possible end to a crippling five-month strike that has disrupted global output of the metal.
Workers from the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) begged leader Joseph Mathunjwa on Thursday to end the country’s longest mining strike and sign the latest offer – an increase of about 20 percent, or 1,000 rand (54.7 pounds) a month, Reuters reported.
Mathunjwa told Johannesburg radio he would take the offer to more AMCU members at mines on Friday, before meeting with management at Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum later or over the weekend to relay the response of his miners to their offer.
Markets reacted as prices for platinum and its precious metals cousin, palladium, declined. Stockpiles by industrial users largely muted any impact the strike had on global platinum and palladium prices, anyway. The platinum price is actually trading below its pre-strike levels on the LME today, indicating that any “strike premium” that was in the price has been removed.
Following two days of increases, the price of US palladium bar dropped by 4.3 percent to end at $821.00 per ounce on Friday, June 13. The price of Chinese palladium bar changed direction with a 2.6 percent drop. After two days of improving prices, the metal finished at CNY 186.00 ($29.91) per gram. After a 0.2 percent increase, Japanese palladium bar finished the day at JPY 2,759 ($27.12) per gram.
The price of US platinum bar fell 2.5 percent to $1,440 per ounce. The price of Chinese platinum bar declined 1.3 percent to CNY 309.00 ($49.69) per gram. Japanese platinum bar saw its price rise 0.1 percent to JPY 4,847 ($47.65) per gram.
The price of US gold bullion increased 1.0 percent to $1,273 per ounce. Indian gold bullion prices rose 0.9 percent to INR 26,362 ($444.62) per 10 grams. Chinese gold bullion finished the day up 0.6 percent to CNY 254.05 ($40.85) per gram. Japanese gold bullion closed 0.2 percent lower at JPY 4,140 ($40.70) per gram.
US silver prices inched up 1.7 percent to $19.52 per ounce. At CNY 4,110 ($660.92), the price of Chinese silver finished the market day up 0.9 percent per kilogram. After improving for two days, the price of Indian silver declined 0.6 percent to INR 41,311 ($696.75) per kilogram. The price of Japanese silver closed at JPY 630.00 ($6.19) per 10 grams. Following a couple days of improvement, prices fell by 0.5 percent.