COLUMN-Can coronavirus pandemic tame the wild palladium market? – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – April 20, 2020)

LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) – COVID-19 has roiled industrial metal markets with lockdowns around the world eviscerating demand, forcing mine closures and upending supply chains.

It’s been a wild ride for the likes of copper, aluminium and zinc, all of which have plunged to multi-year lows.

So too for the precious metals complex with gold slumping in early March before rocketing to seven-year highs earlier this month as investors sought shelter from the macro storms.

Palladium, however, was a wild market before anyone had ever heard of the novel coronavirus. The spot price exploded from less than $800 per ounce in August 2018 to $2,875.50 in February this year.

Lease rates in the London inter-dealer market flexed to extreme levels in January-February, prompting Russian producer Nornickel to commit three tonnes from its “Global Palladium Fund” stocks to try and calm things down.

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