Chart of the week: rhodium on the rise

Rhodium has gained more than 30% this year, and now costs at least twice as much as gold or palladium.

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When it comes to the precious metals group, gold, silver and palladium tend to hog the headlines. But another of the metals, having gained more than 30% this year, now costs at least twice as much as gold or palladium, notes Myra P Saefong in Barron's: rhodium. The spot price has climbed to a ten-year high of $3,250 an ounce.

The silvery-white metal is corrosion-resistant and used in vehicle catalytic converters. The latest boost to demand stems from Fiat, which needs to replace more than 800,000 catalytic converters in recalled vehicles. Supply, meanwhile, is extremely inelastic because rhodium is mined as a by-product of platinum; it rarely comprises more than 10% of the metal balance extracted from a mine. Prices should keep rising.

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Mark Littlewood, The Times

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