World’s Most Precious Metal, Palladium, Used For Making Catalytic Converters, Now Costlier Than Gold

 “The soaring value of world’s most precious metal, Palladium, in recent years has seen a jump in the theft of catalytic converters around the world.”

Higher Palladium prices are good news for South African and Russian producers, which account for majority of global output.

The silver-white metallic element, mostly extracted as a by-product in the mining of other metals, usually Platinum and Nickel, has shot up by more than 20% since the start of January. It’s now 80% more expensive than a year ago.

It is mainly used in catalytic converters in car exhausts. Palladium, often together with Rhodium and Platinum, accomplishes this by turning toxic nitrogen oxide pollutants into less-harmful carbon dioxide and water vapor.

Of the three precious metals currently used in catalytic converters, Palladium has the highest activity for the removal of nitrogen oxides from the exhaust.

Stricter emissions rules from governments has forced automakers to increase the amount of precious metal they use. World’s biggest Auto market, China alone now use 30% more palladium per vehicle. Across the world, consumers bought fewer diesel cars, which mostly use platinum in their catalytic converters, and instead chose petrol-powered vehicles, which use palladium in their converters.

A trader at refiner Heraeus Holding GmbH, Andreas Daniel, said,

“The main driver by the beginning of January was physical demand from Asia, which might be also automotive related,”

There’s speculation that investors are also jumping in, betting that prices will climb toward a record.

“Buying triggered more buying and in an unregulated market the effect was massive, with a price move which is only seen maybe every 10 years.”

Palladium is also used in electronics, dentistry and jewelry.

At about $2,500 (₦906,000), an ounce of palladium is more expensive than gold. The soaring value of world’s most precious metal, Palladium, in recent years has seen a jump in the theft of catalytic converters around the world.

So beware…. 

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