24 July, 2009.  Since the catastrophic collapse of Rhodium prices in October of 2008, the price of this PGM has been flatlined in the $1000 to $1440 $/toz range, down from an all time high of US$10,100/toz in June of 2008. Today, Rhodium opened on the EIB at US$1550/toz, continuing an upward trend over the last few months.

Palladium has been showing upward movement as well, opening today at US$260/toz.  Platinum has been twittering upwards from US$953/toz last January to todays opening of US$1192/toz. Ruthenium, meanwhile, has been flat at US$95/toz for months.

What does it mean? Well, there is upward bidding pressure for scarce industrial metals used in catalysis. Some of the bidding may be due to speculation and some is due to actual demand by consumers. Rhodium is particularly telling in that 80 % of consumption is for automotive (“consumer catalyst”) applications. Palladium is largely consumed in industrial and consumer automotive applications. Ruthenium has significant use in computer technology as well as industrial catalysts. Price pressures relating to jewelry demand is negligable with these metals.

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