Investors are all over platinum these days; coupled with improving industrial demand and a tight mining supply, and it's a recipe for a potentially long-term uptrend:
- South Africa's mines are responsible for 80% of the world's platinum output; margins are getting squeezed at some mines, and one solution could be to scale back production volumes.
- Auto sales are still tepid, but much improved. Platinum is a key component in catalytic converters, which help reduce emissions.
- ETF Securities' new ETFs are adding a new layer to demand for the metals; in just a few weeks, the funds have amassed more than $500 million in assets under management.
- Platinum prices are up around 1% at $1,535 an ounce, with palladium 5% higher at $445 an ounce, well above 2009 lows of $920 and $180 respectively, says Matthew Curtain for The Wall Street Journal. (Why Platinum May Be the New Gold.)