Today, for the first time in 10 months, the price for platinum briefly outpaced gold. Historically platinum has always been the more valuable precious-metal, with supply and reserve levels roughly 15 times less than gold.
Last year however, with gold prices on a tear, the value of the yellow metal went on to eclipse those of platinum, with a similar story playing out until today’s breakthrough.
The reason for this change, according to industry observers, has been the weakening supply of platinum in the midst of increased industrial demand. Most of the mining supply of platinum (non-recycled) comes from South Africa, and today a major producer, Anglo American Platinum, announced they will close four of their South African mines, cutting production of the precious metal by 400,000 ounces per year.
Demand for platinum is also on the rise recently, it is used in the production of electronics and vehicle emission systems, both industries that have seen recent sales growth. Jewelry demand has also increased as platinum sold at a discount to gold but this trend will quickly reverse as the prices even out.