Bloomberg News

Platinum Surges Most Since June Amid Strike at South Africa Mine

August 16, 2012

Platinum futures jumped the most since June after production was disrupted at a South African mine owned by Lonmin Plc (LMI), the world’s third-biggest producer, increasing concern that supply will lag behind output this year.

A strike that led to deadly riots and shootings at the Marikana mine has disrupted operations since Aug. 10. Eighteen bodies were lying near the site of a recent protest, the South African Press Association reported today. Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP), the second-largest producer, lost 120,000 ounces of platinum output during a strike in January and February, according to Bloomberg calculations.

“These supply challenges may be sufficient in our view to potentially push the market into deficit this year,” Daniel Brebner, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG, said in a note e-mailed today.

Platinum futures for October delivery climbed 2.8 percent to settle at $1,435.20 an ounce at 1:12 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since June 29. After the close of floor trading, the metal climbed to $1,442.80, the highest since July 10.

For the first time since July 5, the settlement price topped the 50-day moving average, a signal that some analysts who follow historical price patterns perceive as bullish.

Palladium futures for September delivery advanced 0.9 percent to $583.45 an ounce on the Nymex.

To contact the reporter on this story: Debarati Roy in New York at droy5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net


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