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Platinum set for biggest deficit since 1999 -Johnson Matthey

Clara Denina
Tuesday, 12 Nov 2013 | 3:48 AM ET

* Platinum set to average $1,465/oz in next 6 months

* Palladium expected to average $760/oz in next 6 months

LONDON, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Strong investment and industrial demand will push the platinum market in 2013 into its biggest deficit for 14 years, refiner Johnson Matthey said on Tuesday.

The platinum market is expected to show a shortfall of 605,000 ounces this year from 340,000 ounces last year, it said in its Platinum 2013 Interim Review.

It said a rise in primary and secondary supply, coupled with slower autocatalysts demand and an overhang of above-ground stocks will prevent the metal from returning to record highs of $2,290 an ounce hit in 2008.

Johnson Matthey expects to see platinum prices in a range of $1,360 to $1,580 over the next six months, with an average of $1,465 which is only slightly above current prices at $1,430 an ounce.

China's demand for cars and lower Russian palladium sales should keep the palladium market in deficit and send its price to its highest level since mid-2011, Johnson Matthey said.

Johnson Matthey expects a high for palladium of $815 an ounce, a low of $680 and an average of $760 in the next six months.

The report, widely seen as the industry standard for platinum group metals (PGMs), is the last from the world's top supplier of catalytic converters, which announced in May it would stop publishing it after 28 years.