Platinum prices are expected to increase by almost US$50 (about $250) an ounce within a few months as demand for the metal continues to increase. The price, currently at US$358 an ounce, is expected to hit the US$400 mark.
Demand is likely to be accelerated towards the end of the year when legislation in the European Community will require that all new cars be fitted with more environmentally friendly catalysts for exhausts.
This is expected to raise consumption of platinum to about 800 000 ounces from last year’s 490 000 ounces.
Japan could also be another major consumer as there are reports that young Japanese buyers prefer platinum to the traditional diamond encrusted rings.