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Platinum
Updated 06:00 IST 17 Nov 2013

JM forecast platinum prices to be $1360-1580/oz, averaging $1465/oz below our forecast of $1560/oz over the next six months, and they expect palladium prices to trade within $680-815/oz over the next six months, averaging $760/oz, marginally below our forecast at $780/oz,” said London based Barclays in an e-mailed report. 

Platinum prices to hit $1,700 an ounce by the end of first quarter of next year and palladium pas..

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Know Platinum
Platinum is considered one of the finest of all jewellery metals and one of the most precious too. Over 20% of all consumer goods either contain platinum or are produced using platinum. As a consequence, the continued expansion of advanced and developing economies has caused demand for the metal to grow at a faster pace than it is being mined.

History takes us back over 3000 years to ancient Egypt where the remarkable metalsmiths of that time became extremely skilled in the art of working with platinum. A 2500 year old coffin of an Egyptian High Priestess was discovered, decorated with platinum hieroglyphs. Their polish and luster were still perfect, giving dramatic proof of platinum's incomparable strength and durability.

Read all the News and Features on Platinum Here!

Another ancient people who created adornments from platinum were the Incas. But the invading Spanish Conquistadors saw little use for this metal, and deemed it "silver of lesser value", platina. They even went so far as to throw great amounts of the metal into the sea, thinking that it might become a cheap imitation for silver.

Finally, during the eighteenth century, platinum's value as a metal supremely suited for jewelry started to take hold. Then in the nineteenth century, platinum became the de-facto standard for setting the finest of the newly discovered gemstone, the diamond. In fact, the most famous of these gems, the Koh-I-Nor, the Jonker, and the Hope diamonds were all set in platinum.

Platinum is the hardest of the precious metals, it never tarnishes. Its intense luster remains intact over the years, and it is completely hypoallergenic. Platinum is extremely dense, and remarkably heavy: Much more so than silver or gold. This property of platinum enhances and ennobles the quality of the jewelry from which it is created.

It has unique chemical and physical properties that make it essential in a wide range of industrial and environmental applications. Platinum is used as catalyst in petroleum refining, electronics and scientific apparatus, jewellery, dentistry, pharma and in car exhaust anti-pollution devises. Automotive sector accounts for 43 per cent of the metal’s usage, jewellery 23 per cent and petroleum refining 3 per cent.

South Africa and Russia are the two major platinum producing countries. In other places, it is found as a by-product of iridium, rhodium and nickel. The low recovery of just five parts per million from the earth surface makes it more scarce.

Of the total global production of 6.7 million ounces, South Africa produced 5.29-million ounces, Russia 8.80-lakh ounces and North America 3.45-lakh ounces. Transvaal in South Africa, Urals in Russia and Columbia in US are the major platinum producing States.

Why investors love Platinum & Palladium ETFs

The London Platinum and Palladium market provides the global benchmark prices “London fix”. Other major trading centres are New York Mercantile Exchange, Tokyo Commodity Exchange and Mid-American Commodity Exchange and India's Multi Commodity Exchange is also a new entrant to this commodity Futures.

Platinum is known as "high-octane gold", for its stronger price moves and prospects for a higher upside. Buying platinum is an easy way to invest in worldwide economic growth because the metal is essential to the economies of many industrialized nations.

Approximately 8 tons of raw ore must be mined to produce just one pure ounce of platinum. Today, the finest and most elegant jewellery contains platinum. Japanese consumers buy approximately 48% of the world’s platinum jewellery each year. The rise in popularity of platinum jewellery over the past two decades has been remarkable, with double digit growth rates over the past several years in both China and North America now making these two markets highly important. Combined they count for over 40% of world total platinum jewellery demand. Platinum is prized the world over for its understated elegance and its tensile strength, making it the most secure precious metal for setting precious stones.

Demand for platinum in high technology applications is soaring due to its unique properties: It is virtually impervious to corrosion, has a melting point in alloy of 3215 degrees Fahrenheit, is a powerful catalysing agent and is highly conductive.

Higher North American, European, and Asian automobile emission standards continue to add pressure to auto manufacturers to increase the use of platinum in catalytic converters and devices like oxygen sensors.

Platinum catalysts are a core component for fuel cells, a power generation technology that combines oxygen and hydrogen to form water and electricity. Fuel cells are poised to become the environmentally friendly power generation source of choice in the next century, and a key source of future platinum demand.

Platinum’s supply/demand fundamentals are tight. In fact, were platinum mining to cease today, above ground reserves would last less than one year. In contrast, gold reserves would last nearly one quarter of a century. Platinum’s supply is tight even during periods of relatively normal mining production.

Platinum is essential for the wide range of products that are being consumed in nations that are experiencing rapid gains in incomes. Because of this, world platinum use per unit of world economic output has risen rapidly in the past decade. While growth has been strong, overall market share is still low - meaning that these trends of increasing demand are sustainable for some time to come.

Investment demand by individuals around the world is rising. Many are attracted to the vastly improving fundamentals in the platinum market. In rising markets, platinum normally develops a significant premium over gold. Platinum has historically tended to be more expensive than gold because it is considerably rarer and has more extensive and irreplaceable applications.

Catalytic converter platinum consumption in developing nations is becoming an increasingly important factor for the platinum market. Much of the world runs on diesel, a fuel that works best with platinum catalysts as opposed to palladium catalysts.

Facts you may not have known about platinum

All the platinum ever mined from the beginning of time would fit into a typical living room.

Around two tonnes of ore has to be mined to obtain enough platinum to make a ring.

Platinum's melting point is almost double that of gold.

Platinum is used in the hard discs of most PC's to improve capacity and durability.

Platinum is resistant to attack from most chemicals.

The only material suitable for the electrode in heart pacemakers is platinum.

Platinum is used to make nitrogen fertilisers.

1 gram of platinum can be made into wire 2 kilometres long.

One third of the platinum mined in the world in 2005 was made into jewellery.

There is no platinum in a platinum record; it's only plastic dipped in silver.