Platinum surged to a historic high above $2,000 an ounce on continuing concerns of lower output by South Africa, the world's largest platinum producer.

Platinum for April delivery soared to a new record of $2,001.40 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rallied $61.90 to end at $1,983.70 an ounce.

Severe power shortages in South Africa, the world's biggest platinum producer, have forced many major mining companies to cut down on power usage. Eskom Holdings Ltd., South Africa's state-run utility, allows top mining companies, like AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., to receive only 80 to 90 percent of their usual required amount of power.

The power shortages may cut platinum output in South Africa by 500,000 ounces, Barclays Capital said last Friday.

As a result, mining companies have revised their production forecasts downward. Anglo Platinum, the biggest platinum producer, revised its production forecast to 2.4 million ounces for 2008, down from an initial 2.8 to 2.95 million ounces.

Also on Nymex, March silver gained 10.30 cents at $17.353 an ounce, March palladium rose $7.55 at $439.05 an ounce, while March copper dropped 2.95 cents to end at $3.5305 a pound.

Gold for April delivery ended down 90 cents at $910.20 an ounce. Earlier, the precious metal hit an intraday low of $899.50 an ounce.