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UBS ETRACS CMCI Long Platinum Total Return ETN (PTM)

  • Thu, Jan. 29, 12:41 PM
    • Unable to sustain a move over $1,300 per ounce after last week's QE launch by the ECB, gold is selling off hard today, -2.5% to $1,253.
    • The longs sound stretched, with State Street's Dave Mazza noting gold ETPs had their best inflows in a year last week, futures volume was 52% higher than the average volume over the previous 100 days, and net-long positions in futures contracts increased 27% over the previous week.
    • "Gross longs are now at their highest since November 2012," says Mazza.
    • Gold remains higher by just over 4% YTD.
    • Silver is down 7% on the session to $16.80, platinum by 3.5% and palladium by 3.2%.
  • Nov. 18, 2014, 9:59 AM
    • Six of the world’s major platinum producers - including Amplats (OTCPK:AGPPY), Impala Platinum (OTCQX:IMPUY) and Lonmin (OTC:LNMIF) - have banded together to drum up interest in the metal as a financial investment.
    • "The investment potential of platinum has been largely overlooked,” says the group head, pointing to platinum’s performance as an investment asset over the past 20 years.
    • Demand for platinum, unlike gold and silver, is driven by industry rather than by investors and the jewelry sector; the metal has a wide use of applications, from emission-reducing catalytic convertors in motor vehicles to fuel cells and chemicals production.
    • A test using platinum as a catalyst for fuel cells to light up an isolated village in South Africa is prompting further interest.
    • ETFs: PPLT, PTM, PGM
    | Comment!
  • Oct. 9, 2014, 11:48 AM
    • Platinum Group Metals (PLG +0.6%) says its low-cost South African projects will benefit as competitors shut down old unprofitable mines in lowering global output by as much as 35%.
    • South African platinum producers, the source of more than 70% of the metal, are under pressure to close or sell their least efficient operations amid the lowest platinum prices in five years, dwindling ore grades and higher labor costs, CEO Michael Jones says.
    • Platinum prices have declined ~8% this year as signs of weaker economic growth in Europe has raised concerns about slowing demand; at current prices, ~45% of South Africa's platinum mines are believed to be operating at a loss.
    • PLG shares have shed 33% so far this year; platinum peers including Amplats (OTCPK:AGPPY), Impala Platinum (OTCQX:IMPUY) and Lonmin (OTC:LNMIF) also are sharply lower YTD.
    • ETFs: PPLT, PTM, PGM
    | Comment!
  • Jul. 21, 2014, 4:36 AM
    • Anglo American's (OTCPK:AAUKY) subsidiary, Amplats, is planning to sell its Union mine, Rustenburg operations and a joint venture in South Africa.
    • The move will reduce the miner's staff count by 20k, and follows a continuous five-month strike against the company by the AMCU union.
    • The mine is expected to be sold to Sibanye Gold (NYSE:SBGL), whose CEO Neal Froneman announced a wish for a platinum deal before the end of the year.
    | Comment!
  • Jul. 1, 2014, 11:31 AM
    • Platinum prices breach $1,500/oz. and palladium futures also jump as better than expected U.S. car sales data and a new strike in South Africa lured buyers into both markets.
    • Upbeat reports from GM, Ford, et. al. bucked expectations for a slowdown in car sales, boosting investor appetite for platinum and palladium, which are both widely used in car exhaust filters.
    • Meanwhile, a new strike by metal workers and engineers in South Africa have renewed concerns about supply after the country is still recovering from a five-month strike by platinum workers.
    • Platinum producers: AAUKF, AAUKY, IMPUY, LNMIF.
  • Jun. 23, 2014, 11:58 AM
    • South Africa's AMCU says its members agreed to a wage settlement that will end the country's longest-ever strike which has cost the mining industry 1.1M oz. in lost platinum production and helped shrink the country's economy by 0.6% in Q1 from a year earlier.
    • The world's three-biggest platinum producers - Amplats (AAUKF, AAUKY), Impala Platinum (IMPUY) and Lonmin (LNMIF) - say they each lost roughly a third of their annual production, and analysts say it will take at least three months to get production back to pre-strike levels after mines have been mostly idle for the past several months.
    • Platinum prices fell 1.1% to $1,437.70/oz. on the news.
  • Jun. 18, 2014, 9:59 AM
    • South Africa's platinum miners say the industry's main labor union has made new demands that go beyond a preliminary accord struck last week, which may delay an apparent agreement to end the five-month strike by 70K-plus mine workers.
    • AMCU, which has led the strike, now wants the new wage agreement to run for three years instead of five, seeks a once-time payment of ~$270 to each worker, and wants miner Lonmin (LNMIF) to rehire 235 workers it recently dismissed for participating in the strike.
    • Top platinum miner Amplats (AAUKF, AAUKY) and the union are scheduled to meet today to discuss the new demands; Impala Platinum (IMPUY) says some of the new issues raised by the union are "problematic" and that it "could still take some time" to sign a deal.
    | Comment!
  • Jun. 12, 2014, 8:54 AM
    • South Africa’s top platinum companies and the biggest mineworkers union agree on proposals that the labor organization will take to its members in a bid to end a five-month pay strike.
    • The AMCU union is meeting members at mines today to get their views on the proposal, and the companies - Amplats (AAUKF, AAUKY), Impala Platinum (IMPUY) and Lonmin (LNMIF) - expect a response tomorrow.
    • More than 70K members of the union have been on strike over pay since Jan. 23, which producers say has cost 22B rand in revenue.
    | Comment!
  • Jun. 9, 2014, 2:44 PM
    • Wage talks between South Africa's AMCU union and major platinum producers end in failure, with the mining minister quitting his mediation role and dashing hopes for an end to the five-month strike.
    • AMCU has led the strike of more than 70K mineworkers since Jan. 23, asking for monthly wages of the lowest paid underground employees to be more than doubled to 12.5K rand ($1,174) by 2017; the companies offered increases of as much as 10%.
    • The world's three top platinum producers - Anglo American Platinum (AAUKF, AAUKY), Impala Platinum (IMPUY) and Lonmin (LNMIF) - say they have forfeited earnings of 22B rand and employees have lost 9.6B rand in wages since the strike began.
    • The news lifted platinum prices higher by ~$15, or 1%, from a session low of $1,436/oz.
    • ETFs: PPLT, PTM, PGM.
    | 1 Comment
  • May 27, 2014, 12:56 PM
    • South African mining production plunged 24.7% Y/Y in the three months through March, the biggest quarterly drop since Q2 1967, and helping send the country's Q1 GDP down 0.6% Y/Y in its first contraction in five years, the government reports.
    • A four-month-old miner's strike at South Africa's three biggest platinum producers - Anglo American Platinum (AGPPY), Impala Platinum (IMPUY) and Lonmin (LNMIF) - has cost the companies more than 470K oz. of production in Q1 and 19.8B rand ($1.9B) to date in lost revenue.
    • A South African labor court judge is now mediating talks between the companies and the miner's union - a step supported by both sides but she can’t impose anything on the parties.
    • ETFs: PPLT, PTM, PGM
    | Comment!
  • May 5, 2014, 8:32 AM
    • South African platinum miners will continue their strike after workers rejected the latest wage offer from employers, according to the president of the AMCU union that is spearheading the strike.
    • The world's three largest mining companies - Anglo American Platinum (AGPPY), Impala Platinum (IMPUY) and Lonmin (LNMIF) - had revised their wage offer at the end of April with an above-inflation salary increase of as much as 10%.
    • The strike has been running for nearly four months and has cut global production of the metal by ~40%; the big three miners are estimated to have lost ~$1.5B so far.
    • ETFs: PPLT, PTM, PGM
  • Apr. 14, 2014, 10:59 AM
    • Platinum prices are surging, stoked by worries over supplies due to the crippling mine worker strike in South Africa and the potential for increased sanctions against Russia.
    • Platinum mining in South Africa has plunged by more than a third since workers went on strike in January to demand higher pay; mining companies had built up their inventories before the strike, but stockpiles have dwindled as the strike reaches its 11th week.
    • South Africa is the source of roughly 80% of the world's platinum, while Russia is the second largest producer; platinum is used primarily in catalytic converters of diesel-burning vehicles, which are common in Europe.
    • ETFs: PPLT, PTM, PGM
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  • Mar. 20, 2014, 8:00 AM
  • Jan. 27, 2014, 8:21 AM
    • Talks resumed today between South Africa's top mineworkers union and the world's top three platinum producers, but with few hopes for a quick resolution to a strike that hit production of the metal given AMCU's uncompromising approach to negotiations and with the two sides far apart over wages.
    • The delegations for the talks were low level, with no ministers or chief executives from Anglo American Platinum (AGPPY), Impala Platinum (IMPUY, IMPUF) or Lonmin (LNMIF, LNMIY), and without the president of the AMCU union.
    • ETFs: PPLT, PTM, PGM.
    | Comment!
  • Jan. 24, 2014, 5:00 AM
    • South Africa's Association of Mineworkers & Construction Union has started government-brokered pay talks with the world's three largest platinum producers in order to end a strike of up to 100,000 workers.
    • The strike, which is affecting over half of the world's platinum output, is in its second day and is threatening to turn violent.
    • The meeting marks the first time that the AMCU has met with Anglo American Platinum (AGPPY), Impala Platinum (IMPUY, IMPUF) and Lonmin (LNMIF, LNMIY) under one roof.
    • Platinum futures are -1% at $1,449.15 an ounce.
    • ETFs: PPLT, PTM, PGM.
    | Comment!
  • Jan. 23, 2014, 7:51 AM
    • Tens of thousands of platinum workers in South Africa went on strike today to demand higher salaries, and Anglo American Platinum (AGPPY), Impala Platinum (IMPUY, IMPUF) and Lonmin (LNMIF, LNMIY) say mining operations had mostly stopped as a result.
    • The companies warn that the industry is in a financially fragile state and a new strike will be damaging to both revenue and jobs; this week, Amplats said earnings in 2013 returned to a profit after a loss the previous year but a strike could reverse those gains.
    • ETFs: PPLT, PTM, PGM.
    | Comment!
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PTM Description
UBS ETRACS CMCI Long Platinum Total Return is designed to track the performance of the UBS Bloomberg CMCI Platinum Total Return, less investor fees. The CMCI Platinum TR measures the collateralized returns from a basket of platinum futures contracts. The commodity futures contracts are targeted for a constant maturity of three months.
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