Platinum has had a decent year from a price perspective.

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Not as strong as palladium, by any means. But despite the travails of the global automotive market, tighter emissions standards have helped demand.

But now price support has come from an unlikely — and unwelcome — source.

South Africa’s monopoly power utility Eskom has been suffering a wave of disruptions due to production failures that have led to blackouts to the country’s mining and refining industry.

According to the Financial Times, after being starved of investment by ex-President Jacob Zuma’s corrupt administration, Eskom’s aging coal-fired power plants are in a dire state. Maintenance of aging coal plants is only part of the problem, as their new replacement power plants have been riddled with flaws, the article reports.

Power cuts earlier this year pushed the country close to recession. The most recent outages have intensified over the last 36 hours, as heavy rains have flooded some power stations.

Multiple failures affecting about a quarter of the country’s power plants have forced the utility to introduce severe rolling “stage 4” cuts of 4,000 megawatts of power on Tuesday of last week, but it was still scrambling to fix breakdowns affecting another 15,000 megawatts — roughly a third of its generating capacity — by the end of the week.

The rolling blackouts were escalated to stage 4 on Friday last week, with a rise to stage 6 (a complete loss of power) bringing many mining companies to a complete halt.

Among them are reported to be Sibanye-Stillwater, Vedanta, Impala Platinum, and Petra Diamonds. Sibanye is the world’s largest platinum producer; the news of Sibanye and Impala’s blackouts caused a 3% spike in the platinum price (see chart from below):


The ongoing disruption is causing some miners, like Vedanta, to question further investment in their South African zinc mines. Meanwhile, others are considering building their own supplementary power production capacity, but on a wider scale.

Eskom has been described as the biggest challenge facing South Africa, a country with many seemingly insurmountable challenges. If the country cannot provide reliable power, it cannot operate an effective economy.

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These recent power-related problems are unlikely to be the end of the issue.

But it is hoped, as miners and refiners shut down for the Christmas–New Year break, Eskom can get some critical maintenance work completed prior to major consumers coming back online in mid-January.

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The Global Precious Monthly Metals Index (MMI) dropped three points this month for a December MMI reading of 110.

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Palladium-platinum spread widens

Once again, the spread between U.S. palladium and platinum prices continued to widen this past month.

Rising to $1,816 per ounce, palladium traded at a premium to platinum of $923/ounce, up from the previous month’s spread of $850/ounce.

“Platinum and palladium have shown continued strength in a tight auto-catalyst market with palladium in particular hitting record highs with little sign of a sell-off,” MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns explains. “Fundamentals are trumping sentiment with palladium and platinum — even a downturn in automotive output in Europe and China has not deterred investors focused on the tight supply market and the switch to petrol from diesel ICEs (internal combustion engines).”

Palladium prices have continued to soar, approaching the $1,900/ounce threshold early this week before eventually breaching it.

According to Reuters, a power outage in South Africa — one of the world’s top producers of palladium — impacted output at palladium mines, thus supporting the palladium price.

Gold prices steady

“Gold has been driven by hopes of a Fed cut and fears over an extension or deterioration in the U.S.-China trade conflict,” said Burns, adding that gold continued to hold steady ahead of the U.S.’s Dec. 15 tariff deadline.

After reaching around $1,550/ounce in September, the gold price dipped since then; thus far in December, however, the price has held steady at around $1,460/ounce.

However, this week the Wall Street Journal reported the U.S. and China would delay the previously announced Dec. 15 deadline, as trade talks with China continue.

In August, the United States Trade Representative said the U.S. would delay imposing tariffs on some products that were part of a $300 billion tariff list on imports from China. The tariffs were initially set to go into effect Sept. 1 before the deadline was pushed back to Dec. 15.

However, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow, on the heels of the Wall Street Journal’s report, said the Dec. 15 tariffs are “still on the table,” CNBC reported.

The gold-dollar correlation

MetalMiner’s Belinda Fuller recently delved into the historical negative correlation between gold and the strength of the U.S. dollar.

The two typically move in an inverse relationship  — that is, when one gains, the other typically falls, and vice versa.

Recently, however, gold and the dollar bucked that trend, Fuller explained.

“Both gold and the dollar trended up in value overall, especially from July until September,” she wrote. “However, gold prices gained greater momentum and increased by a greater measure than the dollar. Then, both values fell in September and October.”

However, Fuller added the inverse relationship seemed to return to the scene in November.

What does this all mean in the short and long terms, particularly when monetary policy is thrown in the mix?

“With the overall macroeconomic environment characterized as unstable, gold prices may generally continue to trend higher in the short term, as gold gets used as a hedge,” Fuller wrote.

“However, over a longer period, current monetary policies could weaken prices once more — assuming they take effect as intended.”

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Actual metal prices and trends

The U.S. silver ingot/bar price fell 6.3% month over month to $16.94/ounce as of Dec. 1.

U.S. platinum bars fell 4.0% to $893/ounce, while palladium bars rose 2.0% to $1,816/ounce.

Chinese gold bullion fell 3.5% to $47.10/gram, while U.S. gold bullion fell 3.9% to $1,454.20/ounce.

You could be excused for thinking gold has been eclipsed this year — bought in record amounts by central banks in the first half of this year — as the price rose strongly through the late summer but has since drifted off.

A recent report suggests, at least for some investors, gold has been sidelined in favor of a metal with stronger industrial applications, in addition to demand for jewelry and as an investment product.

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In the World Platinum Investment Council’s (WPIC) latest Platinum Quarterly report, the WPIC states that from a surplus of 345,000 ounces for 2019, investment demand in particular has been so strong that platinum is estimated to come out with a deficit of 30,000 ounces for the full year.

A 12% increase in total demand has been driven by a substantial surge in ETF buying, such that overall consumption is still up despite a 5% fall in automotive demand, a 6% fall in jewelry and a 1% fall in industrial demand.

ETF buying was particularly strong in the first half of 2019, the WIPC reports, but has carried on into the second half with the increase in holdings of nearly 1 million ounces. Much of the buying has been by large institutional investors looking to diversify from negative yielding debt equity increasing their holdings of gold and platinum. Such buyers typically work on a two- to three-year timeframe and, as such, are judging platinum has medium-term strength (despite weaker automotive demand).

Automakers have seen a collapse in diesel car sales, particularly in Europe (diesel cars’ top market). As a result, platinum has and will continue to suffer.

Palladium, on the other hand, is more efficient for petrol engine catalytic converters and has, as a result, done relatively well out of the swing in engine type demand. But at some price point, generally taken when palladium is double that of platinum, the latter can be used in place of palladium – its relative lack of efficiency meaning you have to use more platinum to achieve the same level of gas detoxification as you do with palladium.

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Platinum demand has been strong but prices have not fared as well as the other PGMs, such as palladium and rhodium, which have relatively done much better.

Even the upbeat WPIC recognizes the platinum market will be in surplus next year and above-ground inventory is expected to rise as a result of lower investment demand.

In the near term, that may mean there is a cap to prices at least in 2020, but clearly investors are betting on an upturn in the first few years of the next decade.

The Global Precious Monthly Metals Index (MMI) jumped six points this month, rising for a November MMI reading of 113.

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Palladium-Platinum Spread Widens

As noted here many times before, platinum had historically traded at a premium to palladium.

That relationship, however, flipped as of September 2017, and has remained flipped ever since.

The palladium-platinum spread widened this month, even as platinum made gains.

The spread rose to $850/mt this month, up from $763/mt last month.

Looking Ahead

Gold and silver enjoyed a strong run-up during the summer season, but what is ahead for the precious metals?

“Having risen into the summer, gold and silver prices have plateaued in Q3 even as some ETFs have seen strong inflows due to accommodative monetary policies, such as falling Fed rates and safe haven buying in the face of geopolitical uncertainty,” MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns explained. “But jewelry demand is down, central bank buying of gold is lower than the same time last year and a strong dollar set up a number of headwinds that have seen prices unwind as news comes out about a possible winding back of tariffs between the US and China.”

As for platinum, prices did not tick up as much as one might have expected given trends in the automotive industry.

“Likewise, platinum prices have failed to make any headway in Q3 despite a strong showing from other PGMs, such as palladium and rhodium, both of which continue to benefit from the switch to petrol internal combustion engines among European carmakers,” Burns added.

“Gold, silver and palladium prices are expected to ease further in the run up to the year-end while other PGMs will be swayed more by car production and dollar strength. Much will depend on a successful outcome to the encouraging progress on trade talks, which could see investors take a more bullish attitude on risk to industrial metals and weaken demand for safe-haven investment metals.”

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Actual Metal Prices and Trends

The U.S. silver ingot/bar price rose 5.0% month over month to $18.08/ounce as of Nov. 1.

U.S. platinum bars rose 6.3% to $930/ounce. U.S. palladium bars jumped 8.7% to $1,780/ounce.

Chinese gold bullion rose 1.7% to $48.79/gram. U.S. gold bullion increased 2.3% to $1,512.70/ounce.

The Global Precious Monthly Metals Index (MMI) gained four points this month, rising for a September MMI reading of 106.

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Gold Market Subdued in India

MetalMiner’s Sohrab Darabshaw delved into the Indian gold market ahead of the festival season in the country, which includes Diwali in October.

As Darabshaw explained in late August, the apparent slowdown in demand ahead of the usually busy gold-buying season comes amid surging gold prices. Citing a Yahoo Finance report, Darabshaw noted India’s gold imports in July fell a whopping 55% on a year-over-year basis.

“Almost everyone is waiting for a price correction, which is a far cry from the positive situation at the start of 2019,” Darabshaw wrote.

“Demand grew 9% from January-June this year, sparking hopes that consumption towards the latter half of the year would go up.

“But experts are of the opinion that if things do not improve soon, consumption could slump to a low of over 650 tons (comparable to the 2016 low).”

Gold-buying in India was also sluggish ahead of the holiday season last year.

A Gold Mine in Pakistan

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns weighed in on the struggle between the Pakistani government and Tethyan Copper Co.

“The dispute is over the legality of Tethyan’s claim and rights to exploit the copper and gold reserve at Reko Diq in Pakistan’s remote southwest Balochistan province, close to the Iran border,” Burns wrote.

“Pakistan’s mining rights and practices, not to mention its infrastructure, are not fit for the purpose, as Tethyan’s story underlines all too well.”

The impasse benefits neither party, Burns opined.

“Tethyan has offered to negotiate a settlement, but with the Chinese on the sidelines bidding to extend their Belt and Road involvement in the region, conflicting loyalties and priorities are in play,” he wrote.

“A solution, though, would be very much in Pakistan’s interests.

“The resource is said to be the largest untouched deposit in the world, containing an estimated 2.2 billion metric tons of mineable ore that could yield 200,000 metric tons of copper and 250,000 troy ounces of gold annually for over half a century, Stratfor reports.”

Platinum-Palladium Spread

While palladium remains at a significant premium to platinum, the spread between the two narrowed this past month.

After a spread of $638 per ounce as of last month’s MMI, palladium fell and platinum increased to produce a spread of $539 per ounce.

According to Kitco News, platinum is possibly riding momentum generated by other precious metals — namely gold and silver — of late. The platinum price recently approached its highest level in 16 months, Kitco News reported.

Actual Metal Prices and Trends

U.S. silver ingot/bars rose 12.3% month over month to $18.23/ounce as of Sept. 1. U.S. platinum rose 6.1% to $915 per ounce, while U.S. palladium fell 3.1% to $1,454 per ounce.

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Chinese gold bullion rose 7.8% to $49.33 per gram, while U.S. gold bullion rose 8.0% to $1,527.10 per ounce.

The Global Precious Monthly Metals Index (MMI) picked up one point this month for an August MMI reading of 102.

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Time for Safe Havens

Amid the latest jolt of trade uncertainty — namely, President Donald Trump’s intention to impose a 10% tariff on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods — safe-haven metals prices have increased.

Gold, for example, last week moved over $1,500 per ounce for the first time in six years, Reuters reported, while silver prices have also gained momentum.

Demand for gold in the first half of the year was strong, according to the World Gold Council, rising 8% on a year-over-year basis. The demand was largely powered by central bank buying and a rise in holdings of gold-backed ETFs, according to the World Gold Council.

“June was a big month for gold,” said Alistair Hewitt, head of market intelligence for the World Gold Council. “The price broke out of a multi-year trading range to hit a six-and-a-half year high and gold-backed ETF assets-under-management grew by 15% – the largest monthly increase since 2012. While the Fed’s dovish turn was a key driver for this, it also builds on a strong H1 which saw gold demand hit a three-year high, underpinned by extremely strong central bank buying. But we also saw an uptick in sales at an individual level as investors took advantage of June’s price rally to lock-in profits; jewellery recycling and retail bar and coin liquidations both rose.”

Meanwhile, silver — which had been a bit undervalued — posted its largest daily increase in over three years last week, bringing silver above the $17 per ounce mark.

Platinum-Palladium Spread Narrows

The palladium price retraced this past month while platinum picked up, narrowing the spread that has built up over the last over a year and a half.

However, that narrowing could be a blip on the radar in terms of performance throughout the rest of the year.

According to a Reuters poll, palladium’s premium over platinum is expected to hit an average of $609 per ounce this year and $595 per ounce next year.

Actual Metal Prices and Trends

The U.S. silver ingot/bar price rose 6.2% month over month to $16.23 per ounce as of Aug. 1. U.S. gold bullion rose 0.3% to $1,413.40; however, as noted above, the Trump administration’s tariff announcement sent the gold price past the $1,500 per ounce mark.

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Chinese gold bullion rose 2.1% to $45.88 per gram.

U.S. platinum bars rose 3.4% to $862 per ounce. U.S. palladium bars fell 1.1% to $1,500 per ounce.

The Global Precious Monthly Metals Index (MMI) picked up eight points, rising for a July MMI value of 101.

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The U.S. Dollar and Precious Metals

This past month, MetalMiner chatted with Americas Silver Corporation CEO Darren Blasutti to talk about the precious metals market.

In an analysis, MetalMiner’s Belinda Fuller noted the U.S. dollar still reigns supreme as the world’s reserve currency, despite speculation that the yuan could eventually overtake it.

Source: MetalMiner data from MetalMiner IndX(™), and

“U.S. and Chinese gold bullion prices, as seen in the chart above, move closely together,” Fuller explained. “Meanwhile, they both tend to move inversely against the dollar.

“In other words, as the dollar gains strength, gold prices grow weaker in both countries.

“The yuan fluctuates more widely against the dollar, with little apparent impact on gold prices.”

As with other metals, gold price are inversely correlated with the U.S. dollar. The U.S. dollar fell to just under 96 on June 24, but has since gained momentum, rising to 97.50 as of Tuesday afternoon.

The gold price dropped in late June amid the dollar’s recent surge. It picked back up, however, before dropping again early this week.

Amid slumping silver prices, Americas Silver Corporation has shifted some of its focus to gold, in addition to lead and zinc. Blasutti noted the company is keeping higher-grade silver in the ground, for now, until silver prices experience a resurgence.

“When silver does come back, we can increase ounces quite dramatically on the silver side,” Blasutti said.

The company acquired the Relief Canyon Mine in Nevada, where it expects to begin gold pouring later this year.

“Part of the impetus to get back to precious metals was to get a commodity that we thought had less volatility,” Blasutti said. “Gold has shown to have less volatility in the last period, much more than the base metals. Base metals traded in a range and gold has traded in a range, but the range hasn’t been severe [for gold].”

In other news, market watchers are anticipating testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell before the House of Representatives on Wednesday, particularly with respect to any commentary regarding potential interest rate cuts after hikes late last year.

Powell has come in for repeated criticism from President Donald Trump for the Fed’s rate hikes. This week, Larry Kudlow, the National Economic Council director, called the rate hikes “unnecessary,” CNBC reported.

The Palladium-Platinum Spread

Elsewhere in the index, the spread between palladium and platinum widened once again, this month to $682/ounce.

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The palladium price soared to its highest level since March, hitting $1,516 per ounce as of July 1. Meanwhile, the platinum price also rose, but more modestly.

Actual Metal Prices and Trends

The U.S. silver price ticked up to $15.29/ounce as of July 1, marking a 3.5% month-over-month increase.

U.S. platinum bars rose 1.7% to $834/ounce. U.S. palladium bars surged 15.8% to $1,516/ounce.

Chinese gold bullion jumped 4.7% to $44.95/gram, while U.S. gold bullion rose 6.3% to $1,408.90/ounce.

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The Global Precious Monthly Metals Index (MMI) fell one point for a June MMI reading of 93, marking the third consecutive month of decline for the MMI.

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The Platinum-Palladium Spread

Contrary to historical trends, the palladium price has soared past the platinum price for approximately a year and a half now.

Last month, however, MetalMiner’s Taras Berezowsky noted a short-term shift against that trend, as the spread between the two metals narrowed to $479 (palladium fell 2.6%, while platinum rose 4.5%). As Berezowky noted, a recent poll forecast the platinum-palladium price spread to average $485 per ounce this year.

This month, however, both platinum and palladium dipped; the spread rose in the process to $489 per ounce.

According to consultancy Metals Focus, palladium will post a supply deficit this year while platinum will be in surplus, which will continue to maintain the premium palladium has obtained over the last 18 months.

The interplay between high palladium prices and depressed platinum prices can be seen in South Africa, where miners are reaping the benefits of the former but struggling with the latter, Reuters reported. Per the report, miners in the country are faced with ore that produces twice as much platinum as palladium.

As MetalMiner’s Belinda Fuller recently explained in an analysis of palladium and platinum prices, platinum likely won’t stay this down for long.

“Platinum prices, however, remain somewhat low historically,” she wrote. “The recent performance against the DXY does not necessarily suggest the metal is undervalued. However, given that platinum can serve as a substitute, it’s doubtful the price will stay suppressed long term, as high palladium prices will drive a push toward substitution.”

Gold Star

Elsewhere in the Global Precious MMI basket, gold is outperforming other commodities, MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns noted.

“The price of gold hit a three-month high Tuesday, at $1,327.9 per troy ounce as investors continued to buy into exchange-traded and physical gold. Inflows into the world’s largest gold ETF, the SPDR Gold Trust, rose by 2% Monday,” Burns wrote last week. “That marked its biggest one-day gain since 2016, the Financial Times reported, part of a wider inflow that bought holdings in gold-backed ETFs to their highest in a year.”

Given global economic uncertainty stemming from trade, it’s no surprise investors are turning to the safe-haven asset.

But how much further can the gold price go? Can it surge past the $1,400 per troy ounce threshold?

Pump the brakes on that thought — at least for now, Burns argues.

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“Global political and economic developments would have to take a dire turning for the worse to stimulate a rise above the mid $1,300s,” Burns argues.

Actual Metal Prices and Trends

The U.S. silver price fell from $14.93/ounce to $14.77/ounce as of June 1.

The U.S. platinum price fell 7.4% month over month to $820/ounce, while the U.S. palladium price fell 4.1% to $1,309/ounce.

Chinese gold bullion rose 3.1% to $42.92/gram. U.S. gold bullion rose 3.2% to $1,324.80/ounce.

In spite of their status as precious metals, the automotive industry accounts for a high percentage of platinum and palladium demand annually, making the pair essentially industrial metals.

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Given that a high percentage of demand generated from the automotive industry relates to the use of the metals within the catalytic converter, as the automotive market moves more fully toward electric powered vehicles, demand will likely decline for both metals.

Meanwhile, according to Reuters, even though palladium- and platinum-heavy fuel cell technology in the electric car market is on the rise, the growth in this area is unlikely to offset falling autocatalyst demand.

Given that prices for palladium soared of late, let’s take another look at palladium price trends, along with its close substitute platinum.

Palladium, Platinum Price Trends Compared with the Dollar Index (DXY)

Given that metals and the dollar index (DXY) tend to move in opposite directions, we can see that palladium prices gained quite a bit more value than expected when looking at the DXY trend line against the palladium trend line in light blue below.

Source: MetalMiner data from MetalMiner IndX(™) and

On the other hand, platinum’s price movement in the U.S. looks much more in line with what we might expect when compared with the relative performance of the U.S. dollar. Therefore, although platinum prices historically exceeded palladium prices, platinum prices still trend fairly close to the expected (recent) value, while palladium prices started to look inflated. Platinum prices peaked in 2008 at more than $2,000 per ounce.

Source: MetalMiner data from MetalMiner IndX(™)

Looking at the price difference in the U.S. between the two metals, or spread, as shown by the purple line in the chart above, we see that the spread between the two flip-flopped in late 2017 to early 2018. The spread surged since last year, hitting a peak around March 1, 2019. More recently, the spread has moved sideways at around $500 per ounce.

Do Chinese Palladium and Platinum Prices Drive U.S. Prices?

Given that China consumes a high percentage of palladium, we could expect that Chinese prices lead U.S. prices.

Source: MetalMiner data from MetalMiner IndX(™)

A look at the price trend lines between the two countries does in fact show a high correlation in prices between the two countries, especially long term.

More recently, U.S. and Chinese platinum prices continued to move in a tight band together.

Chinese palladium prices, on the other hand, trend above U.S. prices, with the gap growing in 2019 – not surprising given that China leads demand for the metal globally.

Source: MetalMiner data from MetalMiner IndX(™)

The zero line in the chart above indicates where the two countries’ prices are equal. At points above zero, the Chinese price is higher. The price difference tended to amount to U.S. $25-$50 per ounce, but increased into 2018. During the past few months, the difference decreased again slightly, but still looks somewhat high historically.

Source: MetalMiner data from MetalMiner IndX(™)

The chart above shows the spread between Chinese and U.S. prices. When the spread value is under zero, U.S. prices are higher.

The spread between U.S. and Chinese platinum prices tends to lean toward the U.S. having the higher price. However, since 2016, the prices trended very close together. U.S. prices started to look relatively more expensive again in 2019.

What This Means for Industrial Metal Buyers

For industrial metal buyers looking to track palladium prices, the Chinese price offers a solid proxy of what we might expect with regard to the future behavior of palladium prices.

While the price indicates slightly weaker Chinese demand of late, prices for palladium remain at historically high levels.

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Platinum prices, however, remain somewhat low historically. The recent performance against the DXY does not necessarily suggest the metal is undervalued. However, given that platinum can serve as a substitute, it’s doubtful the price will stay suppressed long term, as high palladium prices will drive a push toward substitution.

No, we’re not talking about Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd (although we do love that classic film).

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The Global Precious Monthly Metals Index (MMI) has just entered a two-month downtrend, with global trade uncertainties and other economic worries serving as a backdrop. Platinum and palladium are once again taking center stage.

The subindex tracking a basket of gold, silver, platinum and palladium prices from four different geographies decreased one point to 94 for the May reading — a 1.1% drop — driven by drops in U.S. gold, silver and platinum prices.

While both platinum and palladium prices dropped last month, in May only palladium began the month lower, while platinum bumped up a bit. This tangible — yet potentially insignificant — short-term reversal of fortune for those two platinum-group metals (PGMs) stands in stark contrast to the previous trend: a huge divide over the past year and a half or so in the platinum-palladium spread, with the latter metal holding a vast premium to the former, which continues today.

Based on MetalMiner IndX data, the U.S. palladium price fell 2.6%, down to $1,365 per ounce, for the month of May. Meanwhile, the U.S. platinum price rose 4.5%, clocking in at $886 per ounce.

Palladium still holds at nearly $100 per ounce higher than the gold price, which stood at $1,283 per ounce in the U.S. at the beginning of the month — down only a few dollars per ounce over the previous month.

Platinum and Palladium (and Gold and Silver) Perspectives

This one-month price trend reversal looks to align with the longer-term forecast as well, according to some analysts.

“Palladium will cost an average $485 an ounce more than platinum this year – a record breaking premium – but the gap will narrow in 2020 as the rally fizzles out and platinum recovers after an eight year downturn,” a Reuters poll showed, according to this article.

“The poll of 27 analysts and traders conducted this month returned a median forecast for palladium to average $1,350 this year – its highest annual average ever – and $1,275 in 2020,” the article stated. “That prediction is higher than a similar poll three months ago which forecast prices of $1,200 this year and $1,150 in 2020.”

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs stated in a recent analyst report that “we think that lack of substitution by auto companies will lead palladium to continue to outperform platinum,” according to Kitco News.

The investment bank went on record as saying, “Palladium is also set to benefit more than platinum from tighter environmental restrictions in China,” and “as such we reopen our long palladium-versus-short platinum trade recommendation.”

Goldman is also bullish on gold and bearish on silver.

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Their analysts “are trimming their [gold] forecasts to $1,300 an ounce for three months, $1,325 for six months and $1,375 for a year from now.” For silver, they listed “three-, six and 12-month silver forecasts of $14.50, $15 and $15.50 an ounce, down from $15.50, $15.50 and $16 previously,” according to the Kitco News article.

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