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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 10:21 GMT
Platinum prices hit 25-year high
Car exhaust
Platinum is a key component in cleaning diesel engine exhausts
Platinum prices have hit highs not seen for more than 25 years, driven by growing demand for the metal in cleaning car exhausts.

Prices have risen nearly 130% over the past four years and now stand at more than $950 per troy ounce.

World demand for platinum is currently outstripping supply.

It is a key component for catalytic converters in car engines, and use is growing as pollution rules are toughened.

Russia and South Africa are the two main producers of platinum.

Those in the metals markets will have noticed the push into metals and I think we'll see more of that
Douglas McWilliams
Centre for Economics & Business Research

Demand for a similar precious metal, palladium, is also rising because it is being used as a cheaper alternative for jewellery, particularly in China.

Prices for palladium, which can also be used to clean car engine exhausts, now stand at about $240 per troy ounce.

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