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PGM: Spent autocatalyst recycling mapped and analysed

The autocatalyst recycling industry has changed measurably over the last decade, having undergone a period of aggressive global expansion. Refiners have expanded their presence in the market, with some integrating up the value chain, whilst an increased realisation of the contained value of catalytic converters since metal prices spiked has meant that margins are more thinly spread along the value chain and existing players have had to adapt, innovate and integrate to survive.

PGM autocatalyst recycling report

SFA (Oxford) has, over a number of years, been contracted to work discreetly with numerous companies throughout the PGM recycling value chain, providing assistance with due diligence on scrap processing facilities, filling underutilised capacity, sourcing feed material, understanding the economics of recycling, evaluating opportunities in emerging markets or producing a business case for a new entrant.

This experience has allowed us to develop a comprehensive understanding of the PGM recycling business and, using our extensive database on PGM end-use and sophisticated algorithms, we have quantified recycling volumes in autocatalyst, jewellery and electronic applications, including details of processing infrastructure capacity limits and economics.

In its review of PGM recycling potential, SFA (Oxford) gives consideration to the recycling business and its drivers to quantify scrap volumes and PGM flows. The report includes detailed commentary and analysis on the sources of scrap, competition, market growth rates and the legislation impacting on this area of PGM supply.

Spent autocatalyst recycling mapped and analysed

Who should read this report

 

End-users and fabricators concerned about the future security of PGM supply.

Mining companies wanting in-depth analysis on future market fundamentals, particularly the changing cocktail of supply, and an evaluation of the processing opportunities offered by a growing recycling sector.

Investors with exposure to the PGM sector that need to fully quantify the risks to market fundamentals and pricing from recycling volume growth.

Recyclers and refiners evaluating expansion opportunities and sourcing feed materials.

The report

SFA (Oxford) has tracked the development of PGM usage and subsequent scrap generation in the autocatalyst, jewellery, and electrical and electronic sectors. This supply-side analysis for autocatalysts and these assumptions are underpinned by data on vehicle production, sales, trade, age distribution, collector locations and vehicle parc, as well as an understanding of historical, regional catalyst introduction and associated changes in loadings. The analysis has enabled us to model and define, by region, the existing and potential future volumes of PGMs and associated ceramic components available for recovery and recycling.

In modelling PGM volumes, the team also accounts for the price factors and elasticities affecting profitability, including price structures and metal returns, pricing conditions, hedging, and the sensitivity and volatility of the metal price, in order to provide a risk assessment of volume growth.

The model also takes into consideration the effects of price elasticity, currency and price volatility on recycling volumes, particularly for jewellery, and includes analysis of the drivers of price appreciation, such as mine cost inflation.

Furthermore, our long-term assessment takes account of the potential ratio and volume of metals returning to market against processing margins, technology, capacity and utilisation rates. The emerging business case for recycling autocatalysts in China and India (potential growth areas) is also considered.