Platinum prices hit yet another new high on Monday after the world's biggest platinum producer Anglo Platinum , said its output will drop again this year as a result of the current energy shortage in South Africa. Gold also gained.
April platinum traded $55.40 higher to $1,939.40 per troy ounce in New York and some analysts said they expect the price for an ounce of platinum to reach $2,000 by next week.
Anglo Platinum said that it experienced a 12 percent drop in platinum production last year and that trend is set to continue with the ongoing power cuts in South Africa. The company reported a 3.5 percent rise in 2007 net profit, as stronger metal prices offset production problems.
The Johannesburg-based company produced 2.47 million ounces of refined platinum last year, a 12 percent decrease from 2006 due largely to safety-related shutdowns of operations in South Africa.
Severe power shortages caused by the country's national power company Eskom, have forced many major mining companies to lower production, boosting in turn platinum and gold futures.
Other metals also rose. Gold prices were also higher in New York as investors looked to buy the metal as a hedge against inflation. After going as high as $927.90 per troy ounce earlier in the session, April gold was up $4.50 to $926.80 per troy ounce, while March silver added 37 cents to $17.48 per troy ounce. March copper climbed 14.5 cents to $3.5540 a pound. Copper supply concerns revolve around drops in output in China and Chile.
In energy markets, oil futures gained for the third consecutive day after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened to cut off oil sales to the United States as retaliation for court orders freezing assets belonging to Venezuela's state oil company.
Light, sweet crude for March delivery jumped $2.02 to $93.79 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after spiking to $94.72 earlier, a one-month high.