Read the latest intel on Palladium from the World Platinum Investment Council. The spectacular increase in the price of palladium since 2016, in particular during 2019, has attracted widespread interest from investors, industrial users of palladium and market commentators. It also highlighted the importance of understanding the palladium market when considering an investment in palladium or platinum.
Additional Sprott Palladium Resources
What is palladium used for?
Palladium’s physical and catalytic properties result in it having a wide range of uses in industrial and consumer applications, and for investment. The dominant use of palladium today is in catalytic converters used to control emissions from gasoline and diesel internal combustion engines in passenger and light-duty commercial vehicles. In 2019, 84%, or 9,677 koz, of palladium was used in automotive emissions control. Palladium is also used in jewelry, dentistry, watchmaking, blood sugar test strips, spark plugs, surgical instruments, hydrogen storage, and electrical contacts. In total, these non-automotive uses represent a very small proportion of palladiums total annual consumption.
In comparison, platinum has a more balanced end-use exposure, and in 2019 the split in the 4 main segments of demand were: automotive 36%, jewelry 26%, industrial 23% and investment demand 15%. Platinum’s wider and more diverse end-uses protects its demand against sudden or unexpected changes in automotive demand far more than is the case for palladium.
The four main demand segments of palladium are shown below with 5-year ranges (2015 to 2019) shown. Negative investment demand is due to net sales from physically backed Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) over the period.
Figure 1. How Palladium is Used
Source: Johnson Mathey, WPIC Research.
Sprott Physical Bullion Trusts
Raising the bar in precious metals investing
The Sprott Physical Platinum and Palladium Trust is generally exposed to the following risks. See the prospectus of the Trust for a description of these risks: fluctuation in platinum and palladium price, fund expense risk, cash redemption risk, market price impact due to purchases by the trust, future investment demand for platinum and palladium, risk of losing good delivery status, sales tax on physical redemption, transportation expense, fluctuating proportion of assets invested in platinum and palladium, physical redemption delays, physical redemption not proportionate to the trust’s holding, secondary offering at below trading price, unpredictable trading price, future platinum and palladium price may be lower, risk of asset sale to pay expenses, uninsured losses, invalid insurance claim, inadequate insurance held by service providers, currency risk for nonUS unitholders, limited insurance recovery, losses relating to physical redemption, speculative investment, liquidity risk, limited recourse against bullion custodian, investment risk, redemption risk, bullion custodian risk, trust termination, premium/discount of trading price, suspension of redemption, competition from other platinum and palladium buyers, sale of trust assets, regulatory status of the trust, reliance on the manager, obligation to reimburse certain liabilities, no management of the trust by unitholders, limited unitholder rights, changes in investment objective and restrictions, substantial redemption risk, currency risk, taxation risk, unitholder may be liable for the trust’s obligations, sales tax on platinum and palladium purchases, unenforceable actions or judgments, reduced demand for platinum and palladium due to changes in technology.
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