Palladium: the world’s rarest precious metal


Gold, silver and platinum are popular among investors and ordinary people, but what do you know about palladium? In fact, this metal occupies an important place in the global economy and, in particular, in the production chains of leading companies in the world. Without palladium, many of the latest technologies, without which the modern world is hard to imagine today, would not have been implemented. In this analytical note, we will talk about palladium — its properties, application in the economy, quotes on leading exchanges, and also answer the question of why investing in this metal is worth your attention.


Palladium as an indicator of the state of the global economy

Palladium belongs to the group of so-called industrial metals, which means that it does not have intrinsic value like gold, platinum or silver, which are catalysts for jewelry making. Quotations for this metal are completely determined by supply and demand in industry, and therefore by the state of the world economy[1]. When leading industrial companies increase the pace and volume of production, create thousands of jobs, and the state stimulates the economy, the price of palladium increases.

This becomes obvious if we analyze the industrial applications of palladium. 80% of all palladium production is used in the automotive industry, namely in the production of catalytic converters (catalysts), which are built into the exhaust system of a car with an internal combustion engine (ICE) to neutralize 90% of the exhaust gases[2].

As you know, today the world economy is in a state of green transition, striving to use renewable energy sources, develop electric vehicles and curb the release of exhaust gases from internal combustion engines into the atmosphere. Despite the rapid pace of entry into the automotive industry, there are still many traditional cars[3], which is why palladium is a key link for countries leading the way in green policies.

Palladium is also used in electronics, dentistry, pharmaceuticals and jewelry. However, these applications are extremely small compared to the automotive industry.

The geographic distribution of palladium is extremely limited due to its rarity. This metal is the rarest among all other noble metals — its deposits in the world are 15 times less than platinum and 30 times less than gold[4]. In 2021, the leaders in the mining and production of palladium were South Africa (80 thousand tons), Russia (74 thousand tons), Canada (17 thousand tons) and the USA (14 thousand tons)[5]. On the other hand, the largest producer of palladium in 2022 was MMC Norilsk Nickel with 44% of all world production.


Statistical analysis of palladium quotes

Since 2016, the price of a troy ounce of palladium has grown steadily until 2019 — from 499 US dollars to 2271 US dollars, respectively[6]. This was due to increased production rates in the automobile industry and stricter exhaust emission regulations in Western countries and China.

Since January 2019, a structural crisis in the global economy began, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Massive lockdowns and thousands of people losing their jobs have led to a decrease in the purchasing power of the population. In such circumstances, automakers began to reduce production volumes and accumulate stocks of palladium in their reserves, anticipating a prolonged crisis. Investors, also in shock, sold their assets. As a result, from January 2019 to February 2022, palladium quotes entered a volatility trend, either reaching a historical peak in April 2021 (2941 US dollars), or breaking through the bottom in November 2021 (1727 US dollars).

 Since February 2022 along with the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, the situation has changed significantly. The political crisis in Europe created another shock in the world economy, which was aggravated by the sanctions policy against Russia, as well as the energy crisis in Europe. In the context of the abandonment of cheap Russian hydrocarbons, the price of fuel has increased extremely, which has reduced the attractiveness of cars in the consumer market. If people did buy cars, compact cars with low fuel consumption and low exhaust emissions were a priority. Thus, palladium quotes entered a decline stage — from 2483 US dollars in February 2022 to 1169 US dollars in October 2023.

Current state of the palladium market

Thus, the price of palladium is determined by the following trends in the global economy: the spread of electric vehicles and the recession in the global economy are negatively affected (for example, inflation in the leading economies of the world); have a positive effect on the increase in the production rate of cars with internal combustion engines and the tightening of environmental standards on exhaust gas emissions into the atmosphere.

On the other hand, not all new technologies pose a threat to the palladium market. If palladium is not needed for electric vehicles, then palladium is required for the production of hydrogen-powered cars. Some experts call hydrogen cars the next level in the green transition. For comparison, the production of one hydrogen car requires up to 10 times more platinoids compared to cars with internal combustion engines: 25-30 g versus 3-5 g for a passenger car[7]. Thus, the development of this automotive sector could create a positive trend for palladium. However, hydrogen has not yet developed at such a rapid pace, so it is unlikely that it will determine palladium prices in the near future.

By 2023, the lifting of health restrictions in the PRC, increased production rates in the auto industry and attempts by central banks to lower interest rates to stimulate the economy were expected to create positive momentum for the palladium market. For example, in China, car sales volumes reached their historical maximum in 5 years[8].

However, analysts gave disappointing forecasts for the palladium market for the first half of 2023[9]. Thus, in the May forecast, Norilsk Nickel expected a palladium deficit of around 200 thousand ounces[10]. Leading analyst at Open Investments Andrey Kochetkov points out that the fall in the price of palladium is caused by automakers’ reserves from Covid times, which should be depleted in the second half of 2023. When this happens, Finam FG analyst Alexey Kalachev expects an increase in price to 1,500 US dollars, with which analyst Krasnozhenov agrees. Foreign analysts “imarc” also in their annual report on precious metals indicate a decrease in the average price of palladium by 14.3% compared to 2022[11].

In the short term, by 2024, Russian analysts indicate a price range for palladium in the region of 800-1500 US dollars. The low limit was set by analyst Kochetkov, who believes that the negative impact of electric vehicles will increase and, as a result, the demand for gasoline catalysts will decrease. Analytics for September for their clients, Bank of America predicted a decrease in the average price to 1,564 US dollars in 2025 and to 1,497 US dollars in 2026[12]. However, you should always remember that the largest supplier of palladium in the world, Norilsk Nickel, can invest palladium in its reserve fund, thus increasing the world price without reducing production volumes.

Investing in palladium

Investments in palladium are fraught with risks, since quotes are extremely volatile in relation to the state of the global economy and the automotive industry[13]. However, in short-term trading, with certain skills and patience, investors can earn much more than, for example, on gold, a reserve precious metal that is not subject to serious price fluctuations.


If you, dear investors, are confident in your abilities, understand how the automotive industry works, feel the economic crisis in your gut and are focused on making a profit in the short term, then the palladium market is for you. As always, on your part, the desire for financial changes, and on ours, high-quality and proven services.


[1] Lycos P. How precious metals showed themselves in 2023 // Gold reserve. 29.06.2023. [Electronic resource]. URL: / (date of request: 10.10.2023)

[2]  Global Precious Metals Market Price, Size, Report, Share, Growth: By Type: Gold, Silver, Palladium, Platinum, Rhodium; Regional Analysis; Market Dynamics: SWOT Analysis, Porter’s Five Forces Analysis, Key Indicators for Demand, Key Indicators for Price; Trade Data Analysis; Competitive Landscape; Industry Events and Developments; 2023-2028 // EMR. [electronic resource]. URL: (date of application: 10.10.2023)

[3] According to Norilsk Nickel, by the end of 2023, the global automotive market is expected to recover to 86 million units produced, and 76 million units of which will be cars with internal combustion engines

[4] Milkina A. Will platinum and palladium prices rise in 2023 and is it worth investing in them // . 11.01.2023. [Electronic resource]. URL: (date of application: 10.10.2023)

[5] Which Countries Produce the Most Gold, Silver, and Other Precious Metals? // Madison Trust Company. (undated). [electronic resource]. URL: / (date of request: 10.10.2023)

[6] CFDs on Palladium // TradingView. [electronic resource]. URL: / (date of request: 10.10.2023)

[7] World raw materials market: palladium // Gazprom Investments. 02/28/2023. [Electronic resource]. URL: / (date of request: 10.10.2023)

[8] In the same place

[9] Palladium has fallen to a four-year low // Vedomosti. 26.06.2023. [Electronic resource]. URL: (date of application: 10.10.2023)

[10] Global palladium market to swing to surplus in 2024, Nornickel says // Reuters. 31.05.2023. [Electronic resource]. URL: / (date of request: 10.10.2023)

[11]  Precious Metals Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2023-2028 // imarc. [electronic resource]. URL: (date of application: 10.10.2023)

[12] World raw materials market: palladium // Gazprom Investments. 02/28/2023. [Electronic resource]. URL: / (date of request: 10.10.2023)

[13] How and why to invest in precious metals and how to choose between gold and palladium // . 08/16/2022. [electronic resource]. URL: (date of application: 10.10.2023)