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Why is Palladium soaring, while Platinum is lagging?

Why is Palladium (Pd) soaring, while Platinum (Pt) is lagging? Both are used in catalytic converters, but I have been asking around why auto manufacturers don't just use Platinum instead of Palladium and it appears that they prefer Palladium a lot more and that accounts for the higher demand, I bought some Pd Eagles starting in 2008 and they went up nicely. Does anzyone else have an explanation for the sky high price of Palladium? I remember a few years ago when it was so cheap, like $300/oz,

Comments

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,191 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Will Pd and Pt maintain their value as more and more people buy electric vehicles which seems to be the wave of the future?

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • RobMRobM Posts: 524 ✭✭✭
    edited March 1, 2021 7:59AM

    Prior to widespread adoption as exhaust catalyst, palladium wasn't in as much demand as platinum. Platinum had other uses, such as jewelry, where palladium had only limited acceptance. There is also more Pd in Earth's crust than there is Pt. So palladium was historically cheaper on a per oz basis. But Pt lost its edge for at least a couple reasons. One is that Pt is much more dependent on South African mining, and there were some serious mining interruptions about a decade ago. Manufacturers started looking towards more dependable supplies... Pd is also mined in Russia, North America, etc. Next, Dieselgate crushed Pt prices for the past few years. Third, since these catalysts are applied in a thin layer to the catalytic converter's internal structure I am assuming that they require less Pd mass since it is roughly half the density of Pt. As long as exhaust catalyst is a primary use of both, I would think a 2:1 ratio of $Pd/$Pt makes sense in the near to mid term (with likely hundreds of millions of ICE vehicles yet to be built). Fuel cells may hold some promise, mainly for Pt, in the future.

  • WCCWCC Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @1st_Place said:
    I remember a few years ago when it was so cheap, like $300/oz,

    My recollection is that it was about $140 around 2005. Not a few years ago but wish I had bought it.

  • MilesWaitsMilesWaits Posts: 5,297 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 16, 2021 7:32AM


    Pd continues to bust out, driving up those values on our beloved Pd Eagles and such!

    Now riding the swell in PM's and surf.
  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,881 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 16, 2021 8:35AM

    I heard the major mining company norlisk nickel had some severe flooding that impacted palladium production causing some sort of shortage

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-24/norilsk-nickel-partially-suspends-two-big-mines-on-water-inflow

    Check out Johnson Matthey for updates, they are major players in the PGMs

    https://matthey.com/en/news/2021/pgm-market-report-february-2021

    The catalytic converter topic has been covered quite extensively also, PD being twice as effective than PT in petrol engines, thus switching back to PT would be a wash metal wise (needing twice as much PT) while also costly for R&D and retooling of equipment.

    I personally love Platinum jewelry and am intrigued by the unique properties of Palladium, and it’s use in breakthrough technologies.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/phys.org/news/2019-07-scientists-material-solar-cells-efficient.amp

    https://www.platinumgroupmetals.net/Lion-Battery/default.aspx

    Edit to add prices of metals at the time

    Platinum - 1200 ish
    Palladium - 2400 ish

    It's all about what the people want...

  • MilesWaitsMilesWaits Posts: 5,297 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks, Luke, for the resources!

    Now riding the swell in PM's and surf.
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