Feb 17, 2019 - Economy & Business

Platinum and palladium's uncoupling

Data: FactSet; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios
Data: FactSet; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Platinum and palladium are two very similar metals — they sit right above each other on the periodic table, are found in the same mines, and are both used primarily in catalytic converters for automobiles. Up until 2016, their prices tended to rise and fall in unison.

What’s happening: Since Volkswagen’s diesel-gate, demand for platinum — used in diesel-fueled cars — has waned. Palladium, which is used for catalytic converters in gasoline-fueled cars, has benefited.

  • 'The price differential between palladium and platinum is historically unprecedented,” David Holmes, head of trading at Heraeus Precious Metals, tells Axios.

Fun fact: An ounce of palladium now costs more than an ounce of gold, for the first time since 2002.

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