Platinum gained on Tuesday amid concerns that shipments from South Africa might decline due to uncertainty over electricity supplies to the mines.

Last month, power blackouts caused most of the South African mines to close for five days.

South Africa's Eskom Holdings Ltd said it won't be able to generate enough power until 2013.

Platinum have increased by 27 percent this year, surpassing gold and silver.

Platinum futures for April delivery increased by $6.60, or 0.3 percent, to $1,946 an ounce on New York Mercantile Exchange after an earlier increase to as high as $1,970.90.

Palladium futures for March delivery dropped by $7.35, or 1.7 percent, to $436.05 an ounce after an earlier gain to $450.95, the highest since September.

Platinum and palladium are used in jewelry and automotive catalysts although some investors buy the metals as an alternative to currencies, equities or bonds.

Some traders speculated a decline in the demand for the metals as U.S. economic growth declines.