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RUSSIA: Platinum exports seen down 2.4%

By Graeme Roberts | 12 November 2013

Russia’s platinum exports will decrease 2.4% to 24.3 tonnes in 2013 due to the reduced output at the Talnakh deposit operated by metals giant Norilsk Nickel, UK manufacturer of precious metals containing catalysts Johnson Matthey (JM) said in a report.

Palladium supplies are expected to decrease by 6.7% to 84 tonnes, including 80.9 tonnes of primary production, a decrease of 1.1%, and 3.1 tonnes from Russian state reserves, down by about 62% on the year, Prime News said.

Platinum group metals production at placer fields in Russia’s Far East is expected to remain stable.

Primary platinum supplies are unlikely to grow significantly in 2014. In the last few years, the production capacity in South Africa’s platinum industry has been significantly eroded by mine closures, declining labour efficiency, deteriorating ore grades, and a failure to ensure the timely commissioning of replacement projects.

Recent trends in palladium supply and demand look to continue into 2014. Primary supplies will fall in the absence of sales of Russian stocks, which will be offset by additional recycling.

“In Russia, the output of palladium has been drifting lower over the past several years, due to declining grades at Norilsk Nickel. We expect this trend to continue,” JM said.