Mining Weekly reported that vaults in Switzerland holding precious metals may have factored in to the lukewarm reaction of platinum prices to market shortages this year. As Mining Weekly notes, platinum prices have risen only about 5 percent this year despite widespread strikes in South Africa.
As quoted in the publication:
The Zurich Freilager, or freezone, has been used since the 1920s to store valuables, but very little is known about what goes and out of the industrial park, advertised by precious metals brokers for the high level of privacy it offers. Its vaults alone could hold around 20% of the total stocks of platinum in London and Zurich, the world’s two main two storage centres for the metal, market players said. ”Miners, refiners, investors, trade houses: they all hold stocks there,” a German trader close to the car industry said. He and other sources in the industry, the main consumer of the metal for catalytic converters, said this was a major reason prices did not shoot up with the strike.