Johnson Matthey predicts smaller surpluses of platinum, palladium and rhodium
The limited supply of palladium and rhodium has pushed prices to record highs in recent years, while the abundant supply of platinum has weighed on its price.
Johnson Matthey said he could not reliably estimate how much of the metal would reach the market from Russia, a major producer, and for that reason he did not give specific figures on the surplus or the deficit as it has done in previous reports.
Sanctions on Russia since it sent troops to Ukraine in February haven’t stopped its exports, but Johnson Matthey researcher Rupen Raithatha said it’s possible governments or companies could take action. other measures that could do it.
Matthey said weak auto production due to a shortage of semiconductors would dampen demand in 2022, but supply was also under pressure, with South African production expected to fall.
Growth in platinum demand is being driven by its increased use in catalysts for heavy-duty trucks and automakers saving money by replacing some of the palladium with platinum in gasoline engine catalysts, Matthey said. .
He said high palladium and rhodium prices had caused major savings for Chinese automakers.
Increased supply risk from Russia, the largest palladium producer, was unlikely to accelerate palladium substitution in the short term, but could do so in the longer term, Raithatha said.
Automakers ‘can’t react as quickly on how much metal they use this year or even next year, but if the situation (in Ukraine) continues, they may have some flexibility to replace a bit more quickly than they had anticipated before,” he mentioned.
(By Peter Hobson; editing by Barbara Lewis)