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Metals / Platinum

  • Is Platinum’s Next Move Down?

    Platinum is looking increasingly vulnerable. Net speculative length has been dropping for some weeks now and, as this graph from a Standard Bank report to investors shows, the trend has been generally down for much of this year. The net position is mostly due to an increase in short positions – those investors expecting a decline in prices – than a major exit of longs. This equates to a market with a weakening expectation of future prices.Source: Standard Bank In lockstep with rising short positions is an ETF market that appears to have lost faith in the platinum market. As…

  • How Will Platinum Prices be Affected by the Japanese Tsunami

    Earlier this week we mentioned that platinum is again on the rise, and prospects for the metal are looking good. However, in the wake of the supply chain nightmare the Japan tsunami caused – the effects of which are still shaking markets – should we be concerned that platinum demand will drastically decrease? After all, platinum’s place in the auto industry is central to the metal’s industrial activity. Johnson Matthey, for example, supplies one in three auto catalysts globally, according to recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek report, and each one contains approximately 4 grams (0.13 troy ounces) of a PGM. But Japan’s…

  • Platinum: Good Prices Are Not Enough

    Platinum gurus Johnson Matthey published their 2010 Interim Review of the platinum market yesterday. A big event in that part of the mining space. The report was fairly rosy for platinum producers. JM sees the platinum market largely in balance next year supply/demand-wise, after running a slight 290,000 ounce surplus this year. The six-month price outlook is for platinum to trade between $1,550/oz and $1,900/oz. Very decent prices. That's the good news. The bad news is that even at decent prices, platinum producers in the world's largest production region, South Africa, are having a hard time making money. In annual…

  • The race to Find a Platinum Replacement is on

    Platinum – the joy of a jewelry designer – the bane of a catalyst user, and in the current economy its the most expensive element on earth. Platinum is the cost problem for fuel cells. Developing alternatives are treasure hunts of the highest caliber. Chemists at Brown University have demonstrated that a nanoparticle with a palladium core and an iron-platinum shell outperforms commercially available pure-platinum catalysts and lasts longer. A writer could be tempted to repeat, bold or add emphasis.  If the Brown team’s work can be replicated and can show a commercial path they have the first treasure. The…

  • Follow the Platinum-Brick Road

    Exciting couple of days on the market. With the Dow having its worst intra-day drop ever yesterday, most of the commodities got trashed. Over May 4 and 5, outstanding silver contracts on the NYMEX fell 3%. Copper contracts fell nearly 7% over the last three days.  Interestingly, gold held strong. Open interest actually jumped 2%. The support helped bullion break $1200/oz today.  Overseas, the action has been a little different. Gold contracts on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange plunged 5% yesterday. In Japan it's been platinum that's held fast. Pt contracts have been on a tear since April 27, with open…

  • Money Flows Into Platinum as Demand for Gold and Silver Drops

    Gold investors have long-believed the mainstream is close at hand. One of the major arguments from gold bulls over the last ten years has been that bullion prices will rise as gold becomes recognized amongst a wider range of investors as a legitimate option for protecting wealth. This "mainstreaming" has been sped lately by a number of investment instruments allowing buyers to own physical gold without the hassle of storing the metal. Most notably, exchange-traded funds (ETFs). ETFs have become an important force in the gold market. And now it appears they may be doing same for platinum. 2010 saw…

  • Platinum - Gold’s big brother Uncovered!

    Whilst Gold is busy grabbing the headlines, it’s bigger, rarer, more versatile and useful brother is quietly doing its job of providing Industry and manufacturing with the base elements they need to help run our world. Most people just know platinum for its expense or it’s appearance in jewellers windows, but this incredible metal is much more than that! So what exactly is platinum? Platinum is a precious metal, which basically means it’s rare, expensive and composed of metallic elements that are scarce.It’s a silvery white metallic colour (somewhere in between silver and Nickel) It’s a very dense metal with…