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Demand Remains Strong
Amid palladium’s dwindling supply concerns, the demand for this metal remains strong and is expected to continue moving higher in the coming years.
The metal has important industrial applications and is primarily used in the auto industry. Some of the metal’s unique properties make it a good choice to use in catalytic converters to clean exhaust emissions.
Auto manufacturers are increasingly substituting palladium in instead of the more expensive platinum, as global automakers boost their production. Global auto sales are expected to be up 5% this year.
Car sales in China, the world’s biggest auto market, are expected to expand by 11% this year thanks to the burgeoning Chinese middle class. Also, auto sales in the other BRIC nations – Brazil, Russia and India – are expected to remain robust this year. U.S. auto sales are expected to grow by 4% this year.
Also, demand for this metal is also benefiting from stringent global emission standards in the U.S. and other international locations (read: 3 Commodity ETFs Beating the Market in 2014).
Given dwindling supplies and rising demand, palladium should be on a roll this year. In fact, palladium is expected to remain strong until at least 2017, as per North America’s largest palladium producer, North American Palladium Ltd (PAL).
For investors seeking to get in on the palladium market, ETF Securities Physical Palladium Shares (PALL) is a good choice to do so. The product has a favorable Zacks ETF Rank #2 or ‘Buy”, indicating that it is expected to outperform the broader markets.
PALL in Focus
Launched in January 2010, PALL is the only physically backed exchange traded product in the market and is a cost-effective and convenient way to invest in physical palladium. The fund manages an asset base of $515.3 million and charges slightly higher fees of 60 basis points.
The fund seeks to match the spot price of palladium, net of fees and expenses. PALL holds palladium bullion in plate or ingots kept in Zurich or London under the custody of JPMorgan Chase Bank (see: all the Precious Metals here).
The fund has been leading in the precious metals space, rising by roughly 15.5% since the start of the year, and given some of the reasons outlined above, we definitely expect this trend to continue.