As the world moves toward greener technologies, the demand for strategic commodities is on the rise. One such commodity, palladium, is crucial for automotive catalysts, electronics, and hydrogen fuel cells. With the majority of the world’s palladium supply concentrated in South Africa and Russia, geopolitical tensions and supply constraints could significantly impact this essential metal. As a result, policymakers and industries worldwide must be prepared to address the challenges associated with securing reliable and sustainable palladium supply chains.
What is Palladium?
Palladium is a precious metal belonging to the platinum-group metals (PGMs), which includes platinum, rhodium, iridium, osmium, and ruthenium. Palladium is most often extracted as a byproduct of mining for platinum and nickel. Thus, market demand and prices for platinum and/or nickel figure significantly in the economics of palladium production.
Characterized by its silvery-white appearance, palladium is valued for its resistance to corrosion, excellent catalytic properties, and ability to absorb hydrogen. Its unique combination of properties makes palladium a sought-after material for various applications, particularly in the automotive and electronics industries.