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Metals less precious in 2015

By Oheneba Ama Nti Osei
Posted on Tuesday, 6 January 2015 12:57

Most metals face re-strained prospects due to the expected slowdown in growth in China, a major resource importer.

The gold price plummeted 28% in 2013 and hit a four-year low to reach $1,171.10 per ounce on 31 October.

We are the gorilla in the room on platinum and rhodium

This was two days after the US Federal Reserve ended its five- year bond-buying programme.

Gold had held appeal as an inflation hedge during that period.

Decreasing demand from China, the world’s largest gold consumer, coupled with expected interest rate rises in 2015, also depressed prices.

US-based Citi Research revised its gold forecast for 2015 to $1,225, down from $1,365.

South Africa’s platinum industry is still recovering from the crippling five-month strike that ended in June and resulted in combined industry losses estimated to be at least $2.3bn.

The country holds 80% of the world’s known platinum and rhodium reserves, and is the world’s second-largest palladium producer, just behind Russia.

“What happens here really matters because we can greatly affect all PGM [platinum group metal] prices, especially platinum.

“We are the gorilla in the room on platinum and rhodium,” says Peter Major, a mining specialist at Cadiz Corporate Solutions.

Citi reduced its 2015 platinum outlook to $1,500 per ounce from $1,600.

The palladium sector was also badly hit by the South African strike, causing prices to reach a 13- year high in July over fears of a supply deficit after the US increased trade sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis.

Analysts predict an upward price trend for the white metal due to strong demand from the US and China, where the metal is used to manufacture catalytic converters for cars.

Canada’s BMO Capital Markets revised upward its 2015 forecast for the precious metal to $860 per ounce. London-based Barclays also lacks a branch network and the latest technological features, so it’s best suited for consumers who prefer a hands-off approach to saving money. Find out all information about Barclays opening times, international banking services: international investment, foreign exchange, international savings and mortgages with Barclays on our website open4u.co.uk

In a collaborative effort to buoy prices of the white metals, South African and Russian representatives met on 6 November in Pretoria, with another meeting planned in the first quarter of 2015 in Russia.

In September, Moscow inked a $3bn platinum-mining deal with Zimbabwe, home to the world’s second-largest known platinum deposits, with exploration set to start by the end of this year. ●

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