Platinum's Upside Potential

By: Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA | Fri, Jan 20, 2012
Print Email

Based on the January 20th, 2012 Premium Update. Visit our archives for more gold & silver analysis.


 

There are certain dogmas held sacrosanct by precious metals investors and one of them is that platinum is supposed to be more expensive than gold. That's just the way it is. Quite a few eyebrows lifted and jaws dropped last fall when the yellow metals price overtook that of platinum. The historic switch took place on Sept. 2nd when Comex gold futures settled at $1,875.25 per troy ounce, just above platinum's closing price of $1,873 per ounce. When you consider the price history of the two precious metals--platinum has traded at a $200 to $400 premium to gold--the reversal was astounding. Just to give you a better idea, before the 2008 Lehman Brothers crash, platinum was trading at more than $2,270 per ounce while gold was trading under $990 an ounce.

Platinum is much more rare in nature than gold. More than ten times more gold is mined each year than platinum. Unlike gold, which is either held in bank vaults or used in jewelry, more than 50% of the yearly production of platinum is consumed (used up) by industrial uses, mostly in the automobile industry. Some 40% is used for jewelry manufacturing and 10% for investment purposes. The Japanese seem to be very fond of platinum as they account for 95% of the platinum jewelry demand. There are reports in the press of a nascent interest in platinum jewelry in India, expected to make up 25%-30% of the total Indian jewelry sales in 2012.

The annual supply of platinum is only about 130 tons, equivalent to only 6% (by weight) of the total annual gold mine production. It is less than one percent of silver's yearly output. Unlike gold, there are no large inventories of above-ground platinum. Therefore, any breakdown in the two major supply sources, South Africa and Russia, would catapult the price of platinum. An even more intriguing fact is that more than 90% of the world's platinum production comes from only four mines: three in South Africa and one in Siberia.

During economic expansion, platinum prices tend to outpace gold given its dual role as both a precious and industrial metal. But when the economy slows down, platinum can often stumble. For example, platinum dropped below the price of gold back in the early 1980s, pushing the spread below 1.0 for the better part of 5 years as the economy slowly recovered. During the 2008 financial collapse, platinum prices fell from $2,252 to $774, a drop of nearly 65%. Both metals crashed. Gold nosedived due to hedge funds liquidations and investors dumped platinum bracing for a recession expected to flatten automobile sales. The metals reached parity in December 2008 as the price of platinum sunk amid the global financial crisis and a collapse in auto demand. Gold has since has put on a show stopping comeback reaching a high of $1,900 last summer, but platinum has yet to bounce back. As this goes to publishing, the price of gold is $1,655 and the price of platinum is $1,515.

Let's take a look at the chart featuring platinum. You will see platinum at the bottom of the chart below and the platinum-gold ratio in its main (charts courtesy by http://stockcharts.com.)

Platinum Chart
Platinum Chart

On the above platinum to gold ratio chart (if you're reading this essay at www.sunshineprofits.com, you may click on the above chart to enlarge it), we see an anomaly unlike anything seen in recent years. There have been several small breakdowns below the level of previous lows but none have held.

Platinum's extreme undervaluation is not something is likely to persist for much longer. The ratio is now at 0.92 and once it begins to move higher, much more platinum buyers are likely to enter the market. Platinum's price below the one of gold is something that investors view as a buying opportunity (as seen on the above chart) so the only factor that remains in place - preventing prices from moving higher - is fear. Once it subsides as investors see that platinum is not breaking lower, they will buy. This action will likely result in platinum to soon be outperforming gold, something which has not been seen for some time (except earlier this year).

Summing up, it appears that the situation in the platinum to gold ratio and for platinum itself is favorable and if you've been planning to diversify your holdings, it might be a good idea to consider this particular metal.

To make sure that you are notified once the new features are implemented, and get immediate access to my free thoughts on the market, including information not available publicly, we urge you to sign up for our free e-mail list. Gold & Silver Investors should definitely join us today and additionally get free, 7-day access to the Premium Sections on our website, including valuable tools and unique charts. It's free and you may unsubscribe at any time.

Thank you for reading. Have a great and profitable week!

 


 

Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA

Author: Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA

Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA
Founder, Editor-in-chief
Gold & Silver Investment & Trading Website - SunshineProfits.com

Przemyslaw Radomski

Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA (PR) is a precious metals investor and analyst who takes advantage of the emotionality on the markets, and invites you to do the same.

His company, Sunshine Profits, publishes analytical software that anyone can use in order to get an accurate and unbiased view on the current situation.

Recognizing that predicting market behavior with 100% accuracy is a problem that may never be solved, PR has changed the world of trading and investing by enabling individuals to get easy access to the level of analysis that was once available only to institutions.

High quality and profitability of analytical tools available at www.SunshineProfits.com are results of time, thorough research and testing on PR's own capital.

PR believes that the greatest potential is currently in the precious metals sector. For that reason it is his main point of interest to help you make the most of that potential.

As a CFA charterholder, Przemyslaw Radomski shares the highest standards for professional excellence and ethics for the ultimate benefit of society.

Sunshine Profits enables anyone to forecast market changes with a level of accuracy that was once only available to closed-door institutions. It provides free trial access to its best investment tools (including lists of best gold stocks and best silver stocks), proprietary gold & silver indicators, buy & sell signals, weekly newsletter, and more. Seeing is believing.

Disclaimer: All essays, research and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and Sunshine Profits' associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be a subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Radomski is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Przemyslaw Radomski's, CFA reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA, Sunshine Profits' employees and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

Copyright © 2009-2014 Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA

All Images, XHTML Renderings, and Source Code Copyright © Safehaven.com

SEARCH





TRUE MONEY SUPPLY

Source: The Contrarian Take http://blogs.forbes.com/michaelpollaro/
austrian-money-supply/