Palladium primed for record highs as oversupply batters platinum: Reuters poll

Once by far the more expensive of the two metals, both primarily used in vehicle exhausts to reduce harmful emissions, platinum’s market value has halved since 2011.

It has faced weakening demand and oversupply, while an acute deficit has more than tripled the cost of palladium since 2016.

The poll of 24 analysts and traders showed they had become significantly more bullish on palladium and more bearish on platinum since a similar survey three months ago.

The median forecast for platinum was for prices to average $848 this year - the lowest annual average since 2004 - and $905 in 2020.

Palladium’s median forecast was for an average of $1,467 this year and $1,500 in 2020 - the two highest annual averages on record.

“Palladium has been the shining star of the precious metals suite. We expect palladium to continue to outperform,” said Saida Litosh at GFMS, Refinitiv.

The roughly 10 million ounce a year palladium market will have a deficit of 1.8 million ounces in 2019 and 1.9 million ounces next year, she said.

That compares to a 200,000 ounce surplus in the roughly 8 million ounce a year platinum market that will rise to 300,000 ounces next year, she added.

With vehicle sales slowing, tighter emission standards are helping demand. These rules are aiding palladium more, however, because that metal is preferred for gasoline engines, whose market share has grown since a diesel emissions scandal in 2015.

Meanwhile, predictions that automakers will begin to switch to platinum to save money show little sign of coming true.

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