Johnson Matthew: Platinum supplies ‘still available’

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Supplies of platinum held by jewellers and exchange-traded funds were helping prevent shortages of the metal and curbing price gains amid a four-month strike that had crippled South African output, Johnson Matthey said yesterday. “Our access to platinum and palladium is still reasonably good,” Johnson Matthey finance director Robert MacLeod said. “There’s plenty of metal around for industrial users. The miners are more impacted than we are.” The company, which makes a third of all catalytic convertors that use platinum to cut pollution from cars, reported a 25 percent gain in annual net income to £340.2 million (R6.1 trillion), on rising use of the devices in the US and Asia. It posted underlying profit before tax of £427.3m, above the average analyst estimate of £416.8m. A strike by more than 70 000 workers at the three biggest producers has disrupted output since January. Demand would exceed supply by 1.22 million ounces this year, the biggest gap in more than three decades, Johnson Matthey said last month. – Bloomberg

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