Amplats drops to 10-year low, metal prices dip

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Johannesburg - Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS], the world’s biggest producer of the metal, plunged to the lowest in 10 years amid a deepening slump in commodity prices.

Amplats, as the Johannesburg-based unit of Anglo American [JSE:AGL] is known, tumbled as much as 4.1% to R267.20, the lowest since June 2005, and was 2.5% lower at R271.67 by 13:23 Platinum for immediate delivery was little changed at $1 080 an ounce after sliding 39% since 2011.

Prices for platinum, mainly used in pollution-control devices for cars and for jewelry, fell to the lowest since 2009 on June 15 as European auto sales slowed and investors cut holdings in exchange-traded funds.

The valuations of the world’s largest producers including Amplats have also suffered from the fallout of a five-month pay strike last year that crippled operations, which has the biggest known reserves of the metal.

"A lot of the industry is under water," Neill Young, an analyst at Coronation Asset Management in Cape Town, said Tuesday by phone.

“These guys need higher metal prices and that’s going to be the biggest driver” of future share performance, he said.

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