Warning was given yesterday of a severe shortage of palladium, a metal essential for some components of portable electronic equipment such as mobile telephones and laptop computers, as well as for catalytic converters that remove pollutants from car exhausts.
“Palladium use continues to grow very strongly but production lags behind. Soon after 2000 we could be in a difficult situation unless industrial users take attention now,’ said Mike Steel, research director at Johnson Matthey, the world’s biggest platinum and palladium marketing group. He said consumers had been relying on Russia’s palladium stocks to fill a substantial gap between demand and supply.JM believes these stocks will run out soon after the end of the century.
Mr. Steel said there had been a preview of potential trouble earlier this year when Russia, which exports 70 per cent of the world’s palladium, stopped exporting the metal for six months. This helped to drive the price to its highest level for eighteen years… Although it has fallen back since Russian Exports restarted, the price remains roughly double its level at this time last year.
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