Palladium price hits record on concerns over Russian supply risks

(Stock image)

Palladium hit an all-time high on mounting concerns that exports from top producer Russia could be disrupted as a result of sanctions against the country after it invaded Ukraine.

Russia accounts for 40% of all mined production of the metal that’s mostly used in catalytic converters in gasoline-powered vehicles. President Vladimir Putin said again on Sunday the war will continue until Ukraine accepts his demands and halts resistance, dimming hopes for a negotiated settlement.

With most of Europe’s airspace closed to flights from Russia, buyers are worried about securing supplies of the precious metal that’s almost always transported by passenger planes. Miners like MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC are examining alternative routes to supply customers, a person familiar with the matter said last week.

“The airspace closure is disrupting exports of Russian palladium,” said Giovanni Staunovo, a commodity analyst at UBS Group AG’s global wealth management unit. “Further price support is likely coming from investor-and-consumer-led buying trying to secure physical palladium. With low above-ground inventories, palladium, which was under-supplied for nine years until 2020, is very sensitive to supply disruption risks.”

Spot palladium climbed as much as 5.1% to $3,165.38 an ounce, surpassing a previous record set in May, and traded at $3,153.42 at 7:16 a.m. in Singapore. Prices are up 66% this year. Silver and platinum advanced.

Spot gold climbed 0.9% to $1,988.88 an ounce. Bullion is extending gains after posting its biggest weekly advance since July 2020 amid mounting concerns that the raft of penalties against Russia could dim global growth and further stoke inflation. Disruptions to supplies of grain, energy and metals are adding to price pressures, at a time the Federal Reserve is preparing to raise interest rates.

(By Ranjeetha Pakiam)

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