Platinum breaks through 2,100 dollars for first time

LONDON, Feb 18, 2008 (AFP) – The price of platinum on Monday struck a record high above 2,100 dollars owing to a tight supply situation, dealers said. On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum struck a record 2,119 dollars an ounce. It later stood at 2,090 dollars as profit-taking set in.

The latest advance “comes amid tight global supply conditions, growing speculative buying interest and power supply uncertainty in South Africa, the global leader in platinum production,” said Standard Bank analyst Walter de Wet.

“With the platinum deficit expected to widen to 400,000-500,000 ounces this year, compared with last year’s 265,000 deficit, the current upward price momentum has good fundamental support,” he added.

Platinum breached 2,000 dollars for the first time last week.

South Africa, which produces about 75 percent of the world’s platinum, is in the grips of a power crisis that badly hit the mining industry.

Platinum has hit a series of successive records over the past month and has risen by more than 30 percent since the start of 2008. The precious white metal is used in the production of expensive jewellery and c