Operating as principals and issuing their own contracts, market making members quote buying and selling prices for spot delivery. Since these prices move in response to worldwide supply and demand and members compete with each other, keen prices are always available. Trading takes place during working hours in London and Zurich.
Prices are normally expressed in U.S. dollars per troy ounce gross, for spot settlement two business days after the date of the contract, but quotations in other convertible currencies are usually available.
Units of Trading
Platinum and palladium are normally traded in multiples of 500 to 1000 troy ounces of Good Delivery metal. Variations in quantity and/or quality are subject to negotiation.
Deliveries usually take place at a vault specified by the member unless other arrangements have been made with the consent of both parties. Some members are prepared to arrange physical shipments on behalf of their customers and will, upon request, arrange for shipments to most destinations throughout the world. Charges for this service, including freight and insurance, are subject to negotiation.
Facilities exist for the safekeeping of platinum and palladium in high security vaults. Rates for storage and insurance are subject to negotiation.
Both metals can be held on unallocated or allocated accounts.
Many customers do not wish to take delivery of their metal and request members to open metal accounts in their name. In such UNALLOCATED accounts specific bars are not set aside and the customer has a general entitlement to the metal. This is the most convenient and cheapest way of holding the metals and is the one most commonly used.
ALLOCATED accounts are opened when a customer requires their metal to be physically segregated and needs a detailed list of weights and assays.
Although prices quoted are normally for spot delivery, producers and industrial consumers in volatile market conditions may seek to hedge their future commitments. To meet these needs forward prices are quoted for specific maturity dates. Margin requirements on these deals are a matter of negotiation.
This facility has also proved attractive to investors and other customers throughout the world.