After an initial rise at the start of January, the price of platinum has continued its recent downward trend falling to its lowest level in over five years ending the quarter at $1 141/oz (down 6%).
This figure was presented by platinum miner Aquarius Platinum in its 2015 third quarter financial and production results.
Palladium also struggled across the quarter, weighed down by a weak end to March which saw the metal finish 8% lower over the period closing at $736/oz.
Platinum imports into China have also fallen by 58% year-on-year to 91 200 oz across the last week of March, the weakest since November 2008, impacted in particular by a lack of demand for jewellery from China.
Given the weakness in China’s recent trade data and the weak volumes on the Shanghai Gold Exchange, the near term looks uncertain for platinum, but in the longer term demand outside of the jewellery sector should provide support for prices Aquarius says.
Gold prices finished the quarter marginally higher after rallying throughout January to highs of $1 300/oz, however a sharp fall in February saw the metal close only 0.2% higher over the quarter at $1 184 /oz.
Palladium along with the rest of the PGM complex suffered as evident from the latest weekly import data – palladium imports fell 54% year on year to 33 200 oz in the last week of March, the lowest since January 2009. Palladium imports have trended lower since the middle of last year as auto sales growth slowed, falling 0.2% in February year on year, declining for the first time since February 2013.
The precious metal did however form a small rally during the period climbing to $829/oz by early March, however this was not sustained moving back into negative territory.
The average Rand-Dollar exchange rate weakened during the quarter by 5% from R11.53 to R12.14. Since then, the Rand has weakened further 1% in the first two weeks of April, and trending around a level of R12.20.