What is podium, where is it used and why is it more expensive than gold?
International markets are witnessing a tremendous rise in the value of precious metal palladium. In the last two weeks alone, its price has increased by 25% while in the last one year its price has increased almost twice.
At about two and a half thousand dollars (1922 pounds) an ounce, it’s still more expensive than gold.
And with the pressure that is pushing up its price, there is no sign of any future decline.
But what is palladium, what is it used for, and why is its price soaring?
What is podium
This white metallic white metal is included in the same group of platinum, including ruthenium, rhodium, osmium and rhodium.
Russia and South Africa have the highest amount of palladium in the world. Most of this is due to the extraction of other metals, such as platinum and nickel, during mining.
What is it used for?
It is used as an ingredient in catalytic converters and is one of the most important commercial uses. Catalytic converters are part of the exhaust system of petrol and hybrid vehicles and control emissions of toxic substances.
Their function is to convert toxic gases such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide into low-harmful nitrogen, carbon dioxide and aquifer.
About 80% of palladium is used in these devices.
Removing vehicle catalytic converters is a relatively easy task
In addition, it is also used to some extent in electronics, dentistry and jewelry.
The price rise of this metal in recent years has increased the theft of catalytic converters worldwide.
London’s Metropolitan Police say the number of burglaries in the first six months of 2019 was 70 percent higher than the previous year.
Why is this price rising?
Precisely because the demand for palladium is high and supply is low. In 2019, the metal production for the eighth consecutive year was lower than global demand.
Because it comes out secondary to platinum and nickel mining, miners have little room for extra platinum to meet increasing demand.
And apparently this imbalance will continue as South Africa, which produces 40% of the world’s platinum, said last week that its Platinum Group’s production of metals (including palladium) declined 13.5% over November last year. ۔
In the meantime, car-makers have seen an increase in demand for palladium for a number of reasons.
Governments around the world, especially in China, are imposing stringent regulations to curb petrol vehicle contamination.
Meanwhile, emissions scandals from diesel vehicles have also been affected in Europe. Buyers are leaving diesel cars, which are commonly used by Catalytic converters in platinum. Instead, they are buying petroleum-based petrol vehicles.
A trade deal between the United States and China earlier this month also raised prices.
Traders hope that the deal will also reduce the global economic growth trend and the decline in sales of Chinese vehicles.