Platinum Prices Reach 25-Year High

Industrial demand for the precious metal continues to outpace supply as prices reach a 25-year high.

Compiled from reports at Purchasing.com and the BBC

Spot platinum prices rose to its highest level in 25 years. At the afternoon price fix in London, the metal was priced at $1,000/oz, and closed trading on the new York Mercantile Exchange at $1,008/oz. The all-time high for platinum was reported in March 1980, at $1,040.

Industrial demand for a precious metal in short supply has boosted prices 130% over the past four years, says the BBC. Recently, spot-market buying by Japanese investors and futures buying by U.S.-based mutual funds have boosted the price. In addition, automakers use platinum in the manufacture of catalytic converters.
Available in limited supply, and only from countries like Russia and South Africa, U.S. automakers continue to work to wards reducing the amount of platinum used in after-treatment systems of gasoline-powered light vehicles. Demand has also been weakened by slower auto sales in the U.S. 

Platinum supplier, Johnson Matthey, predicts platinum prices could reach $1,030/oz during the next six months. The company has also forecasted that the global platinum market will remain in deficit in 2005 for the seventh year in a row.
 

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