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What Factors Determine the Price of Palladium?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2016
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The price of palladium, a precious metal used in various consumer products, is responsive to many events and market changes. A variety of things influence the price of palladium on a regular basis. Investors who know about the overall context for this commodity can make better decisions on buying and selling financial products based on this valuable item.

Palladium is a commodity, something that is sold in a variety of traditional ways. Commodity investors often look at two prices for palladium, the spot price or current price of the heavy metal, and the prices of futures contracts, or palladium futures prices. Both of these prices experience volatility as part of the greater precious metals market.

One aspect changing the price of palladium is overall demand. Some finance professionals believe that palladium prices rise and fall in relation to other precious metals like gold and silver. As investors demand palladium, whether in raw form or through derivative financial products, the price will go up and down.

Another cause of palladium price changes is national demand. Savvy investors often hear about issues with a certain country ramping up industrialization, or rapidly increasing demand for consumer products. When a growing nation or region gets an appetite for palladium, or any other commodity, the price is likely to rise suddenly.

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Palladium also changes in price based on the supply. Some are saying that palladium supplies in countries like Russia or South Africa are having a dramatic impact on price for this precious metal commodity. When demand outstrips supply, any item may experience price volatility.

There are also direct consumer product links with the price of palladium. For example, one of the most common uses of palladium is in the catalytic converters of motor vehicles. This valuable component of a car or truck scrubs out admissions in the exhaust system. In order to do this, the catalytic converter uses a kind of honeycomb structure coated with precious metals like palladium. As auto markets change, including technologies for pollution control, the price of palladium can change along with them.

Investors can look at changes in palladium prices through brokering deals for raw palladium, or through financial products like palladium stocks or palladium ETFs. A palladium ETF, or exchange traded fund, is a collection of equities based on palladium. These kinds of funds offer investors the ability to buy and sell easily in and out of palladium-based items that generally change price in parallel to palladium, without getting stuck with palladium futures or raw palladium holdings. Knowing about the likelihood of changes in palladium prices is key for any investment in these precious metals funds or other derivatives.

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