How Palladium Became a Really, Really Precious Metal – by Ranjeetha Pakiam and Eddie Van Der Walt (Bloomberg News – January 15, 2021)

https://www.bloombergquint.com/

(Bloomberg) — Palladium is the most valuable of the four major precious metals, with an acute shortage driving prices to records in recent years.

A key component in pollution-control devices for cars and trucks, the metal’s price has been on a tear, more than tripling in the four years through the end of 2020 — lifting it above the price of gold.

1. What is palladium?

It’s a lustrous white material one of the six platinum-group metals (along with ruthenium, rhodium, osmium, iridium and platinum itself). About 85% of palladium ends up in catalytic converters in car exhausts, where it helps turn toxic pollutants into less-harmful carbon dioxide and water vapor.

It is also used in electronics, dentistry and jewelry. The metal is mined primarily in Russia and South Africa, and mostly extracted as a secondary product from operations that are focused on other metals, such as platinum or nickel.

2. Why is it getting more expensive?

Supply has lagged demand for almost a decade. Usage is increasing as governments, especially China’s, tighten regulations to crack down on pollution from vehicles, forcing automakers to increase the amount of precious metal they consume.

For the rest of this article: https://www.bloombergquint.com/quicktakes/how-palladium-became-a-really-really-precious-metal-quicktake

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