Coincidentally, all three metals used in catalytic converter reactions (platinum, palladium, and rhodium) have experienced rising demand and a shortage of supply. The palladium market, in particular, has seen a production deficit for several years as a result of stricter pollution standards in Europe and China. The tighter regulations have spurred demand for the metal from automakers globally. Disruptions at Russian mines, where most of these precious metals are produced, have added to supply concerns.
In recent years, the values of all three metals have spiked. Platinum, the primary metal, bottomed out at around $622 per ounce early in 2020 but then climbed to nearly $1,300 later in the year. Palladium has fallen as low as $617 per ounce in recent years, but it surged to an all-time high of almost $3,000 in Apr. 2021. Rhodium tipped the scales the most at $14,500 per ounce in Dec. 2020.
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