Platinum continued its record high above $2,000 an ounce on Thursday after Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd., the second-biggest producer of the metal, reported a drop in output because of power cuts in South Africa. Palladium also gained.
The price of platinum was up for a second day in New York, adding $22.20 to $2,005.90 per troy ounce, after earlier hitting a record high of $2,030.60. The precious metal, which is used in used for jewelry and auto-catalysts, has gained more than $500 since 22 January.
Platinum rallied $61.90 to end at $1,983.70 an ounce on Wednesday.
Impala, the Johannesburg-based company said it may lose 40,000 ounces of production, which is equivalent to more than two days of global supply. Platinum rose to a record $2,030.60 an ounce today after breaching $2,000 yesterday. The precious metal also soared to a record in London, topping $2,000 an ounce for a second day.
Severe power shortages caused by the country's national power company Eskom Holdings Ltd., have forced many major mining companies to lower production, boosting platinum and gold futures. Most mines shut down operations for five days last month after Eskom said it couldn't guarantee power supplies.
Hard hit by the crisis, the world's biggest platinum producer Anglo Platinum forecast output at 2.4 million ounces in 2008 from 2.47 million ounces last year. Its second-ranked rival Impala Platinum estimated output at below the 2 million ounces it produced last year.
The companies are basing their projections on expectations that the electricity crisis that has restricted the mining sector to using 90 percent of normal power could last for the rest of the year.
Other precious metals traded mixed Thursday. Gold for April delivery edged 20 cents higher to $910.20 an ounce on the Nymex, while March silver lost 9.8 cents to $17.255 an ounce. March copper declined 4.85 cents to $3.4820 a pound.
Palladium futures for March delivery rose $2.10, or 0.5 percent, to $441.15 an ounce. The price touched $450.95 on Feb. 12, the highest since September 2001.
For 2007, platinum out-preformed other precious metals. The price of platinum rose by 37.2 percent compared with a 31.8 percent increase in the price of Gold and a 14.4 percent rise in the price of Silver.