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.
“A trigger for the Leave vote was a despair that Brussels was an over-interfering and dictatorial bureaucracy… we seem incapable of applying our critique of the European Union to our own constitutional arrangements. Most voters may feel we have a little more control over Westminster than over Brussels… There is a pressing need to switch powers away from central government and move them far closer to the people who feel their impact… the UK is… the most centralised economy in the democratic world… A century ago, local government was responsible for raising more than three quarters of its own funding; that now stands at a mere 20%. A huge transfer of tax, spending and regulatory powers to… smaller… flexible administrations at local level is… necessary… Local government should have the power to establish its own welfare policies.”
Mark Littlewood, The Times