Palladium hits record as supply shortage deepens on auto demand – by Yvonne Yue Li and Eddie Spence (Bloomberg News – April 21, 2021)

Spot palladium surged to a record high on bets that rebounding economies will fuel automaker demand, deepening supply shortfalls of the precious metal.

Palladium, used in catalytic converters to curb emissions in gasoline-powered vehicles, rose as much as 4.8 per cent to US$2,895.96 an ounce on Wednesday, surpassing the previous record set in February 2020. Prices have climbed more than 17 per cent this year, building on five straight annual gains.

The palladium market has been in a production deficit for several years, and tighter pollution standards in Europe and China are spurring demand for the metal from automakers. Disruptions at Russian mines run by MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, the world’s largest producer, have added to supply concerns.

”It’s a confluence of factors that’s driving palladium,” said Tai Wong, head of metals derivatives at BMO Capital Markets. “Fundamentally, there’s going to be a material deficit this year and automakers need to restock.”

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