Platinum is one of the world’s most scarce metals, and its supplies are concentrated in South America, which makes up 80% of the world’s supply, Russia coming in at second with 11% and North America with 6%. Platinum’s metallic property is highly demanded in various commercial and industrial productions.
Platinum in its early years of discovery was a part of Native American culture, and then it was The Europeans who realized that this metal was more precious than gold. In the 19th century this metal was molded into jewelry and was often mixed with iridium for it to mold easier. Platinum has a very high melting point and it does not oxidize in air so it is usually used turbines for planes, spark plugs and because it reflects light well it is also used in LCD screens. The Compounds that are in platinum are also important in chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer. What’s more is that it is also non-reactive to chemical attacks and is an excellent conductor of electricity.
Platinum as a commodity
Platinum has the ticker symbol PL and is usually sold per 50 troy ounces; the futures contract for PL is traded at New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). The 2014 strike in Africa have affected the price of platinum, and has continued to decline in 2015, the strike in Africa not only affected PL but also other precious metals like gold and silver. There has also been a decrease of demand for the metal in China.
Factors That Influence Platinum’s Price
Since a great percent of platinum is being used in the production of jewelries, this, consequently, exposes the metal to the volatility of the jewelry market. Any changes in buying habits, whether to the advantage or its disadvantage, can and will affect the price of this metal, and may lead to sudden drops or spikes in the price of this metal.
Platinum is an essential un fuel cells, and scientists now are working on trying to cut the amounts of platinum required to fuel cell powered devices, thus decreasing the demand for this metal, and the impact of this cut down on reliance to oil has yet to be felt.
As mentioned above, platinum has somehow been developed to be a component in fighting against cancer. Despite its adverse effects, platinum-based chemo therapy shows a promising future as a form of treatment.