AFTER a strong rebound in 2010, growth in auto production in the world’s biggest markets slowed from around 30% to 3% last year. Similarly the growth in demand for platinum and palladium used in autocatalysts fell, from around 40% in 2010 to just 1% and 8%, respectively. Demand for palladium in autocatalysts however reached a record high of over 6m troy ounces, and is expected to increase this year with auto production, and to meet new emission standards. Platinum purchased for industrial use (including chemical, medical, petroleum and electrical use) also reached a record high, growing by 17%; glass demand, used in liquid crystal display (LCD) panels in consumer electronics, increased by 44%. High palladium prices however curbed jewellery demand by 15%. Investment demand fell for both metals; though prices were on average higher than the previous year, they fell in the last quarter. Both platinum and palladium markets swung into oversupply in 2011, because of lower demand and an increase in supply, mainly from mines in North America and Zimbabwe.
from Graphic detail http://econ.st/IW0pK2 http://bit.ly/JlPR9E