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Commerzbank: more bad news coming for PGMs

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European auto sales fell last month but those figures do not include the full impact of the COVID-19 virus outbreak, meaning the March sales figures may be even worse, said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann. This is bearish for platinum group metals since it means fewer catalytic converters are made, which means less industrial demand for the metals. The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association reported Wednesday that registrations of new car in the European Union fell by 7.4% year-on-year in February. The auto organization cited several reasons, including changes on taxation on vehicles in many EU countries, meaning that car purchases were moved ahead last year. Also, consumer uncertainty grew amid worries about the economy. “The February figures reflect the impact of coronavirus to only a minor extent – its effects will be more noticeable in the data from March, when the fall in sales will presumably be far bigger given that car showrooms in Germany have also been shut since yesterday and many car manufacturers are suspending their production,” Briesemann said. “Public life in other EU countries was curtailed at an even earlier stage, as we all know. This is additional bad news for platinum and palladium, not all of which is probably priced in as yet.”

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