Demand for palladium, primarily for use in autocatalysts
applications, pushed the spot price of the precious metal to a 17-year
high Dec. 22.
The closing spot price of the metal hit $1,042.50 per troy ounce,
its highest since Jan. 26, 2001, when the metal closed at $1,090 on
the London metals market.
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GFMS analysts from Thomson Reuters forecast that 2018 is anticipated
to be the seventh consecutive year for large deficits in the palladium
market. According to GFMS, “shortages have in recent years been partly
offset by investors selling their holdings in physically backed
The U.S. Mint plans to issue a Proof American Eagle 1-ounce
palladium coin sometime in the fall of 2018, but has not indicated
whether a 2018 bullion version will also be offered. The 2017 bullion
coin was the first issue in the palladium coin program. Although the
2017 palladium coin was issued as a bullion investment coin, the coin
carried a hefty premium on the secondary market, since the coin had
limited availability and was sold directly from the Mint only to
authorized purchasers and not to the public at large.
Demand on the secondary market far outstripped the maximum 15,000
coins the U.S. Mint produced and released. The Mint had promised
production to meet demand.