An introduction to palladium
Palladium is primarily used as a catalyst in the automotive sector, mainly in gasoline-powered on-road vehicles, and has displaced platinum in some parts of on-road diesel engine autocatalysts. The second main use of palladium is in electrical components, specifically in multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs), as conductive pastes and in electrical plating.
From its humble beginnings in the 1970s and 1980s, the palladium market has grown to over 10 million ounces, mainly as a result of it being a substitute for platinum in autocatalysts for gasoline cars. Russian state stocks have dried up, whilst underlying global primary supply has hardly changed and palladium is now trading at a premium to platinum. However, with palladium overwhelmingly reliant on autocatalysts, accounting for 79% of demand, could this prove to be a 'boom or bust' situation?
Palladium price news and insights
10 November 2023 | Beresford Clarke
On Thursday this week, the price of palladium passed through $1,000/oz for the first time since September 2018. Substitution for platinum in autocatalysts and a less-than-rosy outlook for 2024 autocatalyst demand has contributed to palladium’s ongoing 18-month bear market.
27 September 2023 | Dr Jenny Watts
Automakers globally are navigating a series of near-term disruptions, and important regional policy changes, which compound the ongoing costly and complex transition from ICE to BEV powertrains.
30 October 2023 | SFA (Oxford) & Heraeus
16 October 2023 | SFA (Oxford) & Heraeus
2 October 2023 | SFA (Oxford) & Heraeus
18 September 2023 | SFA (Oxford) & Heraeus
Palladium price in context, 1980 to 2023
Palladium market balance
|Primary palladium supply|
|Palladium demand and recycling
|Palladium autocatalyst demand|
|Gross Pd autocatalyst demand||7925||8140||8300||8445||7435||7595||7730||7685|
|Pd autocatalyst recycling||1710||1920||2035||2175||2010||2380||2095||2205|
|Net Pd autocatalyst demand||6210||6220||6265||6270||5430||5220||5635||5480|
|Palladium jewellery demand|
|Gross Pd jewellery demand||240||215||215||215||200||215||225||235|
|Pd jewellery recycling||80||60||60||60||55||60||65||70|
|Net Pd jewellery demand||165||155||155||155||145||155||160||165|
|Industrial palladium demand||1900||1840||1840||1715||1640||1655||1550||1540|
|Other palladium recycling||390||380||370||365||335||415||365||350|
|Gross palladium demand||10,065||10,195||10,355||10,375||9,280||9,470||9,505||9,460|
|Net palladium demand||7890||7835||7890||7780||6880||6615||6980||6835|
|Palladium market balance|
|Palladium balance (before ETFs)||-1,080||-775||-910||-600||-485||235||-520||-565|
|Palladium ETFs (stock allocation)||-640||-375||-560||-90||-115||50||-90|
|Palladium balance after ETFs||-440||-400||-350||-515||-370||185||-430||-565|
|Palladium price history|
| Palladium price (USD/oz)
|Palladium price (GBP/oz)||452||457||674||773||1,205||1,707||1,707|
|Palladium price (EUR/oz)||622||555||768||874||1,375||1,922||2,003|
|Palladium price (CNY/oz)||4,333||4,082||5,861||6,827||10,641||15,117||14,157|
|Palladium price (ZAR/oz)||8,741||8,956||11,580||13,673||22,247||35,940||34,391|
|Palladium price (JPY/oz)||83,503||66,501||97,485||113,853||167,631||234,191||276,105|
Source: SFA (Oxford). Updated May 2023.
Linked palladium market reports
SFA (Oxford) provides regular bespoke market intelligence reports on palladium as well as in-depth studies on recycling, metal flows and price setting.
Released every three months, this price risk-focused report details-impacting factors for platinum, palladium and rhodium markets for the next three years.
Our highly detailed market view provides current and long-term trends and influences acting on the global PGM markets.
In collaboration with Heraeus, this weekly report makes sure all the key precious metal and macroeconomic developments are fully analysed by the SFA team.
Unrivalled insights and definitive answers to PGM purchasing dynamics, metal flows, trading and pricing factors affecting platinum, palladium and rhodium.
A comprehensive study of recycled autocatalysts from scrapyards, collection, decanners, smelting and refining players, technology developments and economics.
DCF scenario modelling analysing the attractiveness of global PGM projects based on incentivised PGM pricing which can motivate new supply.
An evaluation on future platinum, palladium and rhodium supply risk from mines and projects around the world, and the economic cost of production.
Analytics on the PGM primary production landscape, assessing estimated depletion rates of mines and projects, forecasting ounce loss.
An assessment of PGM purchasing, trade flows and end-use consumption as well as mapping key industry players for strategic investment.
Bottom-up evaluation of the precious metals trading environment, regulatory framework, end-use markets, recycling volumes and key players.
Detailed market intelligence on PGM demand and supply, major players and the recycling market to assist strategic planning.
Processing analytics, capacity utilisation rates, logistical flows and plant feeds for the PGM smelters, and refineries of North America, Europe and Russia.
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