Platinum is likely to continue to trade at a discount to gold in overseas markets this year due to dwindling auto catalyst demand in Europe and substitution fears from competing metal – palladium.
Gold ($1,895 an ounce) superseded platinum ($1,872 an ounce) for the first time on September 5, 2011, due to rising investment demand of the yellow metal as a hedge against the global economic uncertainty. Barring a few occasions, gold remained above platinum since then. A survey by the independent precious metals consultancy Thomson Reuters GFMS forecasts platinum price to be around $1,475-$1,775 an ounce for the remaining part of this year. While presenting a bullish picture for gold, the consultancy had forecast the yellow metal to hit $2,000 by the end of the current year.
Gold was quoted at $1,645.24 an ounce in London on Thursday, compared to $1,560.70 an oz of platinum.
The global contraction in platinum prices, however, is unlikely to bring relief to Indian consumers due to an opaque pricing system. Platinum import is restricted to seasoned players only as it needs extremely high temperature for melting it to convert into ornaments. While gold can be melted in a small shop with manageable temperature, platinum requires special equipment.
Platinum continued to trade at 20 per cent premium to gold in Mumbai's Zaveri bazaar. While platinum traded at Rs 35,000 per 10g, gold was quoted at Rs 29,300 per 10g. Surprisingly, the price difference narrowed in the 'e-series' on NSEL. Against the 'e-gold' price of Rs 2,932.6 a gramme, 'e-platinum' was quoted at Rs 2,966 a gramme on Thursday.