Don’t expect this year’s factors fueling the metal’s rise to repeat themselves going forward.
What’s up with palladium? Above-ground stocks are high, the South African miners’ strike had no significant impact on the metal’s price, Norilsk Nickel is still producing and yet the metal’s price skyrocketed at the end of August.
Palladium was all over the news at the end of August and beginning of September. The $900-an-ounce level had been breached and the metal was hitting highs not seen since 2001, some 13 ½ years before. Were these levels going to be maintained?
While since then the price of the metal may have fallen back down to somewhere around the $820 mark (May/June levels), it’s still worth taking a look at this member of the platinum group metals (PGM) and just why it’s important.
Palladium mine production is dominated by just a handful of producers.
Palladium Mine Production by Company – 2013
Source: Norilsk Nickel *Includes: Aquarius Platinum, North American Palladium & Northam Platinum
But also, in 2013, some 80 percent of mine supply came from Russia and Africa, and in particular South Africa.
Palladium Supply by Country – 2010-2013 ('000 oz)
Source: Deutsche Bank