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The Rhodium Market

Rhodium price drivers

An introduction to rhodium

Rhodium is still the most effective catalytic metal to cut NOx emissions and so it remains a key component of three-way catalysts for gasoline vehicles, where demand growth is robust. As a result, rhodium demand is set to increase, whilst a sustained weaker market for platinum could further cut primary rhodium supplies, although more recycling will help to offset some of this shortfall.

Rhodium demand has suffered losses in both gasoline and diesel powertrains. The price spike to over $10,000/oz in 2008 put the metal firmly in the substitution zone. Both platinum and rhodium lost out as lean NOx traps (LNTs), which seemed the preferred emissions aftertreatment choice for Euro 6 prior to 2008, have been partly engineered out through a combination of price volatility and increasingly stringent CO2 targets. Automakers have instead taken well-proven selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology from heavy-duty vehicles and downsized it for cars. Although expensive and requiring maintenance (urea top-ups), SCRs have less of an impact on fuel efficiency (and so CO2 emissions) compared to LNTs.

Rhodium’s price volatility has led to loadings being cut to the bare minimum, and palladium has replaced some rhodium. 

Rhodium price news and insights

SFA's expert view on the palladium price spike

18 December 2023 | Dr Ralph Grimble

The palladium price surged last week due to a convergence of positive factors. The Fed acknowledged the peak in US inflation during its press conference, leading to a more dovish outlook for interest rates and a weaker US dollar, supporting commodity prices.

Palladium: How low can it go?

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.

Rhodium price in context, 1985 to 2023

Rhodium market balance

 koz   2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023f
Primary rhodium supply                
Regional                  
 South Africa   615 620 625 640 475 670 595 585
 Russia   70 75 75 80 80 75 75 70
 Zimbabwe   45 45 40 40 45 40 45 45
 North America   25 25 20 20 20 20 15 15
 Other   10 10 10 10 10 5 5 5
 Total   765 775 790 790 630 815 735 720
                   
Rhodium demand and recycling
 Rhodium autocatalyst demand              
  Gross Rh autocatalyst demand 835 870 900 1,010 925 920 940 930
  Rh autocatalyst recycling 280 305 335 355 330 365 310 305
  Net Rh autocatalyst demand 555 565 565 655 590 550 630 625
                   
Industrial rhodium demand 180 155 210 170 135 125 125 140
                   
Other rhodium recycling 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 2
                   
Gross rhodium demand 1,015 1,025 1,110 1,180 1,060 1,040 1,065 1,075
                   
Rhodium recycling 280 305 340 355 335 370 310 310
                   
Net rhodium demand 735 720 775 820 725 670 755 765
                   
Rhodium market balance                
 Rhodium balance (before ETFs) 30 55 0 -30 -100 145 -15 -45
 Rhodium ETFs (stock allocation) 5 -20 -50 -15 -10 -5 0  
 Rhodium balance after ETFs 25 75 45 -15 -90 150 -15 -45
                 
Rhodium price history                
 Rhodium price (USD/oz) 953 694 1,107 2,219 3,096 11,200 15,479  
 Rhodium price (GBP/oz) 624 515 856 1,670 3,064 8,679 12,485  
 Rhodium price (EUR/oz) 858 628 975 1,886 3,500 9,745 14,663  
 Rhodium price (CNY/oz) 5,979 4,616 7,449 14,747 27,128 76,778 103,657  
 Rhodium price (ZAR/oz) 12,000 10,184 14,757 29,651 56,736 182,407 251,503  
 Rhodium price (JPY/oz) 111,239 75,584 124,122 245,435 425,105 1,191,458 1,211,880  
                   

Source: SFA (Oxford). Updated May 2023.

The Platinum Standard

The Platinum Standard comprises analytical articles on those issues we believe will set the PGM agenda for the years ahead and is released annually in May on the eve of London Platinum Week.

The Palladium Standard

The Palladium Standard comprises analytical articles on those issues we believe will set the PGM agenda for the years ahead and is released annually in September on the eve of New York Platinum Week.

Linked rhodium market reports

SFA (Oxford) provides regular bespoke market intelligence reports on rhodium as well as in-depth studies on recycling, metal flows and price setting.

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Henk de Hoop

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Beresford Clarke

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Jamie Underwood

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Rj Coetzee

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Adele Rouleau

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Oksan Atilan

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Alex Biddle

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Dr Sandeep Kaler

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Gyubin Hwang

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