Platinum and palladium are the most widely used of the six platinum group metals (PGM); the group also includes rhodium, ruthenium, osmium, and iridium. These metals posses unique chemical and physical qualities that make them vital industrial materials. They are especially valued for their catalytic functions, their conductivity, and their resistance to corrosion. They are essential in key manufacturing processes in the automobile, chemical, petroleum refining, pharmaceutical, and electronics industries. Platinum is also increasingly being used by the jewelry industry as designers are taking advantage of its durability and luster to create striking pieces.
Another characteristic of PGM demand is that most of it originates far from the sources of supply. U.S. industry consumes close to 40% of annual world production of platinum and palladium, but more than 90% of the world's supply originates South Africa and the Soviet Union (Canada is the only other significant producer).
Platinum and palladium are among the world's scarcest metals. Only about 4.5 million troy ounces of platinum and approximately 5 million ounces of palladium entered Western markets in1994. By comparison, worldwide mine production of gold totaled approximately 70 million ounces in 1994, while supplies of newly mined silver totaled approximately 440 million ounces.
100 troy ounces
8:10A.M. to 2:20P.M. New York time.
Trading is normally conducted over 15 months beginning with the current month and the next two consecutive months before moving into the quarterly cycle of March, June, September, and December.
Dollars and cents per troy ounce. For example: $98.85 per troy ounce
Minimum Price Fluctuation
Price changes are in multiples of $0.05 per troy ounce ($5 per contract).
Maximum Daily Limit
$6 per troy ounce ($600 per contract). There is no maximum daily limit during the current delivery month and the three business days preceding it. If the settlement price reaches the maximum daily limit in any one of the outer months, the expanded daily limit schedule will go into effect the next day. The maximum expanded daily limit is $12 per troy ounce ($1,200 per contract)
Last Trading Day
The close of business on the fourth business day prior to the end of the delivery month.