Monday, May 03, 2010

Palladium & Rhodium

From Johnson Matthey's 1h2009 report regarding palladium and rhodium in general:
The palladium market is expected to remain in fundamental surplus in 2009. Net demand is forecast to be down by 4%, although autocatalyst demand will fall less than for platinum as scrappage schemes introduced in many countries have favoured sales of small engined, gasoline powered vehicles which use palladium based technology. The booming automobile market in China is also supportive of palladium demand due to the dominance of gasoline engines. Industrial demand is expected to fall, with soft consumer demand leading to a downturn in the use of palladium in electronic applications. Although total demand will exceed mine supplies, significant sales of metal from Russian state stocks will keep the market in surplus. The average price for the first half of Johnson Matthey’s financial year
was $255/oz, down 35% compared to the same period last year.
In general, platinum can also be used in diesel catalysts, palladium is so far mostly used in standard gasoline engines. For this purposes, palladium and current levels is much cheaper and therefore preferred by manufacturers, however more palladium is needed per catalyst than when platinum is used.
The rhodium market has been relatively calm in comparison to 2008 when a record price in excess of $10,000/oz was recorded in the first half of the year before collapsing to less than $1,000/oz by November. With demand subdued due to falling car production, rhodium is expected to be in surplus in 2009. The price is nonetheless trending modestly higher in what is a small and often volatile market. The average price in the first half was $1,509/oz, substantially lower than an average in excess of $8,000/oz recorded in the same period last year.
Rhodium is also used in the jewelery business, bought in grams, and then fumed over other white precious metals to make it even more shining!

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