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SA platinum production at 11-year low and deficit is looming

BDLive reports that analysts Johnson Matthey said on Tuesday South Africa's platinum production has fallen to an 11-year low, pushing the global market into a deficit.
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), the world's biggest producer, lost at least 170,000oz of platinum during an eight-week strike and is struggling to convince workers to return to work.

According to BDLive, the market for platinum was forecast to slip into a deficit of 400,000oz with disruptions in SA removing 600,000oz from supply this year, said Jonathan Butler, author of Johnson Matthey's 2012 interim review. Platinum from SA would fall this year to 4.25-million ounces from 4.85-million, Butler said. The global market had a 430,000oz surplus last year.

"It's now apparent that stoppages have run at a fairly high rate into the fourth quarter, so our eventual supply number for 2012 could well be lower than (the levels) we are forecasting for SA," Matthey said.

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