Signing of platinum quotas in Russia is on hold

The signing of export quotas for Russian platinum group metals has been delayed indefinitely, a Russian finance ministry source told the South African newspaper Business Day.

The source said the quotas had been delayed because of unspecified changes were being made to them, the newspaper reported.

The Russian government has to approve the draft of a decree granting quotas on exports of platinum group metals before they are signed by President Vladimir Putin.

Of the four Russian platinum group metal holders, Norilsk Nickel (Russia’s major producer of the metals), the Gokhran state precious metals and gems repository, the Central Bank, and Vneshtorgbank, only Norilsk has a 10-year export quota for palladium.

The others negotiate all export quotas on a yearly basis, while Norilsk must renegotiate platinum and rhodium quotas.

After Putin signs the export quota decree, the holders of metals still have to obtain licenses before they can export through the country’s sole agency, Almazjuvelirexport.

In January, the price of platinum jumped to a 13-year high of 645 an ounce, while palladium prices soared to record highs near $1,100 an ounce on concern over Russian supplies.

Following news of the delay in Russian exports, the platinum price fixed at $605 an ounce in London yesterday afternoon from 603 ounce. Palladium rose to $968 and ounce from $965 an ounce.