Much attention has been focused on the rise of gold prices, but platinum and palladium prices are also rising significantly. The rise is being attributed to increased demand for both metals, which are used in a variety of applications, from equipment used for reducing automobile greenhouse discharges to alternative energy research and electronic components. See the following article from Commodity Online for more on this.
Two precious metals have been quietly rallying to their highest levels in 15 months even though gold hogged all the limelight. Platinum has reached $1,440 an ounce and its cheaper alternative sister, palladium, has recently hit a 15-month high of $372.
China and India are moving forward with large-scale plans to reduce the amount of carbon emissions in their respective countries. Currently, more than half of platinum and palladium mineral goes into making catalytic converters.
These devices take damaging greenhouse discharges from automobiles and other outlays and then converts them into less harmful substances. As emerging markets like China and India move to develop higher emission standards and protocols these two metals will continue to see demand.
In addition, platinum and palladium are also used in the manufacture of dental applications, electronic components and jewelry applications.
However, the potential for the metal group in alternative energy is great with the recent discovery of a cold fusion technique.
Researchers in California and Italy have created a process for creating energy that blends hydrogen from seawater, palladium and an electric current. The cold fusion concept is appealing as an alternative energy source because there are no harmful by-products and the energy created exceeds the amount produced by nuclear or hot fusion technologies. While these power sources are years away, platinum and palladium still have a vibrant future in the aiding of carbon emissions from the transportation industry.
ETF Securities, a global fund issuer that specializes in physically-backed ETFs, has filed to launch the ETFS Palladium Trust. This fund will add to its US offerings which include the ETFS Physical Silver Shares fund and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares. The new palladium fund has been tentatively given the symbol PALL. These ETFs function in the same way as the popular iShares COMEX Gold Trust and have proven to be extremely popular with investors.
Platinum group metals are predominately found outside the United States, with Russia as the world’s largest palladium producer and South Africa as the leader in platinum production. These two countries accounted for nearly 80% of the world’s supply in 2008.
This article has been republished from Commodity Online. You can also view this article at Commodity Online, a commodity news and analysis site.