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
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
Rhodium price in context, 1985 to 2023
Rhodium market balance
|Primary rhodium supply|
|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|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
A critical impact study of PGM consumption by country of major-end uses, and future metal requirements by company.
Detailed market intelligence on PGM demand and supply, major players and the recycling market to assist strategic planning.
Meet the PGM team
Trusted advice from a dedicated team of experts.