Platinum rallied to the highest price in almost four months yesterday on concern output in South Africa continues to struggle amid rising demand. Gold fell as the dollar strengthened.

Global platinum supply fell 10 percent last year because of strikes, stoppages and shaft closings in South Africa, which accounts for 72 percent of global output, Johnson Matthey estimates.

“The… supply pipeline will remain rather unreliable over the course of the year,” Edward Meir of INTL FCStone said.

“More importantly, platinum is expected to be in deficit this year, with demand expected to remain strong on account of strong car sales we are seeing in a number of markets.”

Platinum was fixed at $1 696 (R15 093) an ounce in the afternoon in London, up 0.5 percent on Friday’s second fix, after touching $1 705.

Gold was fixed 0.2 percent lower at $1 666 an ounce.

Autocatalysts account for 33 percent of global demand, while industrial applications make up 28 percent of usage, according to Johnson Matthey. – Bloomberg