#4. Russian Palladium Is Already in a Supply Crunch
When it comes to palladium, Russia matters more than South Africa, since it provides 42% of global supply. Remember: palladium demand is expected to rise more than platinum, due to new auto emissions control regulations in Asia.
But Russia’s mines are also in trouble…
- Ore grades at Russia’s major mines, including the Norilsk mines, are reported to be in decline.
- New mines will take as long as 10 years to come online. It could take a decade for Russian production to rebound—if Russia even has the resources to do it. This stands in stark contrast to global demand for palladium, which has grown 35.8% since 2004.
- Russia’s aboveground stockpile of palladium appears to have dwindled to near extinction. The precise amount of the country’s reserves is a state secret, but analysts estimate stockpiles were 27-30 million ounces in 1990.
Take a look at reserve sales today:
Many analysts believe that since palladium reserve sales have shrunk, Russia has sold almost all its inventory. As unofficial confirmation, the government announced last week that it is now purchasing palladium from local producers. This paints a sobering picture for the world’s largest supplier of palladium—and is very bullish for the metal’s price.