The world’s biggest platinum mines, located in South Africa have gone on strike, but auto parts suppliers and automakers have not yet been affected by shortages of the precious metal that is used in catalytic converters.
Platinum producers and South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) are now in a labor dispute that sees around 40% of the global production of platinum halted, sending the metal’s price to a four-month high of around $1,480/oz. this week.
“Often the impact of such price fluctuations are not immediately felt in the short term,” said a VDA spokesperson – with the German industry body representing large automakers.
Among carmakers, Daimler and BMW, or auto parts supplier Faurecia said they face no delivery problems yet, as it might be too soon to leverage the impact on the auto industry.
“With regard to the current strikes in South African platinum mines, we do not expect any short-term implications on platinum prices beyond the usual known volatilities in this market,” a Daimler spokesman said in a statement. “We also do not expect any short-term implications on the overall supply situation in the platinum market.”
South African platinum producers Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin failed to end a six-weeks strike earlier this week, even though the government stepped up and was involved in the negotiations.