Platinum In Freefall; Will It Last?
The metal’s spot price on Kitco.com was last seen trading at $805 an ounce, down 3% on the day, as of 3:00 pm EST.The base metal has been falling steadily in 2018, down nearly 20% from $1,000 an ounce in January, amid supply surplus and fears that a global trade war would dampen demand as economic growth takes a hit.
Platinum, as an industrial metal, is an important component to the automotive industry due to its use in catalytic converters.
Some analysts have speculated that its long-term demand will continue to stay under pressure as the electrification of cars will nullify the need for emissions-cutting catalytic converters.
In an interview with Kitco News at the IPMI Precious Metals Mobility Symposium in April, Jeffrey Christian, managing partner at CPM Group, anticipated a supply glut for platinum-group metals (PGMs) from the emergence of electric vehicles.
“In a long, long-term perspective, precious metals, platinum, palladium, and rhodium, have real risks of finding that the future of automotive technology obviates the need for PGMs,” Christian said.
He noted, however, that the shift to an electric car economy will take several decades, and so the risks to PGMs will only be significant over the long-term.
As more electric vehicles hit the roads, analysts predict that battery-related metals, such as copper and tin, would take platinum’s place and rally over the long-term.
Contrary to platinum, copper spot prices traded flat Monday, down 13 cents to $2.76 a pound.