JOHANNESBURG (Commodity Online): Global platinum production is set to face some crisis in the coming month as the world watches one of the biggest sports festivals in the world, the FIFA World Cup Soccer.
It is strange that a sports event will help lift the prices of precious metals in the global markets. But this is not the first time sports events helped lift the prices of commodities. During the Beijing Olympics, several commodities witnessed a surge due to the increased demand from China for construction and other purposes. Coir, steel and copper prices had surged at that time.
This time around, during the FIFA World Cup, precious metals like gold, platinum and palladium are set to gain due to an unavoidable power shortage in South Africa during the football carnival.
South Africa is hosting this year's' World Cup which starts in June and ends in July. For this event, South Africa will need uninterrupted power supply, which is a big problem for the country. South Africa also has several mines producing gold, platinum and other metals. All these mines are heavily depended on power supply from the main supplier Eskom, which has also committed to provide power for the World Cup.
This means South African mines will have to face power cuts during the football fest. This will impact the production of gold and platinum in the country.
Eskom is confident they can handle the power surge, as the World Cup is during the South African Winter, meaning more electricity will be needed. Load shedding is likely to be enforced again for the mines in South Africa, possible creating another opportunity for a price hike.
Eskom is one of the world's largest utilities, generating 95% of South Africa's power and two-thirds of the power in the African continent. This means that as the world's largest platinum producer, any power disruption in South Africa could have a huge impact on the market for the metals.
In 2008, Eskon instituted load shedding on miners and ETF Securities' Physical Platinum exchange traded commodity went from $158.44 per security to $222.06 by the 3 March.