THE STATE OF METALS 2016: PALLADIUM

In our final post of the four-part series on the state of metals, we’re looking at how palladium has performed in the year to date. While palladium is part of the same precious league as gold and silver, it’s one of the six metals that makes up the ‘platinum metal group’. Palladium mining in Australia is slated for development in the Kimberly region of WA, but the mineral is difficult to mine.

PALLADIUM’S LAST MINUTE JUNE SPIKE

To compare each of our precious metals, we’re looking at how they each performed during June 2106.

Palladium opened at US$547, dipped, then rallied strongly to close the month at US$600, up 9.70 percent. For a moment, the middle to latter part of June looked like the start of a lower price for palladium, with the price set to dip to US$500, but the metals fortunes rose again and in the final week of the month gained almost 10 percent.

Global ETF positions grew steadily by almost a tonne during June, which translates to just 1.4 percent.

With the price closing at US$600 in June, the palladium price has continued to rally, and finance pundits are predicting a record high of more than US$678 seems reasonable, with additional price targets suggesting US$695 as well.

PALLADIUM’S CRITICAL ROLE IN THE AUTOCATALYST

As part of the platinum group of metals, palladium is a critical component of catalytic converters, also known as autocatalysts, which are pollution control devices fitted to cars and trucks. The platinum group of metals includes:

  • Ruthenium
  • Rhodium
  • Palladium
  • Osmium
  • Iridium
  • Platinum
the state of metals 2016: palladium

By Hi-Res Images of Chemical Elements (http://images-of-elements.com/palladium.php) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Today, over 95 percent of all new vehicles sold are fitted with catalytic converters. All six of the platinum group metals can be used to convert the harmful exhaust pollutants such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and particulates into the less harmful by-products: carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water vapour.

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