Palladium takes (some) shine off gold price rally

Hands up who invested in palladium this year. Image of Palladion Athena by Wikimedia Commons

The price of gold may be setting fresh multi-year highs almost daily, but its performance so far this year is still in the low double digits in percentage terms.

In contrast, at $1,532 an ounce palladium is honing in on new all-time highs and is trading 32% or $373 per ounce for the better year to date.

More than three-quarters of palladium ends up in catalytic converters for gasoline engines and the rise in the precious metal comes despite a severe slowdown in vehicle sales around the world.

Top consumer China has seen sales drop for 10 months straight and in May 16% fewer cars and truck rolled off lots compared to last year. Annual sales in no 2 market US is also expected to come in below 2018’s total.

What has lifted palladium is greater average loadings per vehicle as more stringent emissions standards are implemented in China and Europe coupled with the perennial threat of strikes in South Africa which together with Russia are responsible for more than 80% of global output.

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