Palladium is the second most expensive precious metal in the world, just behind rhodium. Today, palladium costs $X per ounce, and on this page, we explain some factors that play a role in creating that price.
We also discuss how palladium is weighed — some weight units, you may be familiar with, while others like Taels could be new to you. If the term “palladium spot price” is new to you, we begin with a simple explanation below.
Read on to find out about why palladium prices are so high, ways to trade it, and where you can speculate on the metal. If you want to dig deeper, you can also find some further resources about palladium at the bottom of the page.
What Moves Live Palladium Spot Prices?
Palladium spot prices represent a given amount of palladium you can purchase for a particular currency, right now. When you see palladium prices labeled as “spot,” you’ll mostly come across per ounce prices.
There are approximately 28 grams in one ounce — you can read more about how palladium is weighed.
As a naturally occurring metal that forms over time, palladium deposits are found alongside other metals in the ground. This means palladium is mined.
As for today’s palladium’s price, it’s the result of the ongoing relationship between the breadth of practical and trend-fuelled demand for palladium, its natural abundance, and the technological capability to extract, refine, and process the metal for consumer markets.
Palladium as a Natural Resource: From the Fire
Whether palladium is abundant depends on how much of it we require and take from the rock formations that have stored and matured palladium over time. To understand this, we must look at the past and present-day statistics and mining operations.
Palladium deposits can be found alongside other precious metals like gold, platinum, and even the likes of copper and nickel. Hence palladium is often extracted as a byproduct, much like silver. In 2020, the global palladium supply was over 6 million ounces, a significant drop from previous years.
Of this 6 million, more than a third came from Norilsk Nickel — the Russian company that supposedly sits on the largest nickel, copper, and palladium deposits in the world. The ore deposits in Norilsk are understood to be some 250 million years old, the result of volcanic eruptions around the Siberian Traps region.
The ores containing palladium formed over millions of years, a consequence of volcanic activity that is thought to be the cause of the Permian mass extinction.
So, there is plenty of ore with palladium: more than a billion tonnes. With the present rate of supply, that would be enough for tens of thousands of years. So the other factor we must look at to understand palladium prices is how it’s mined, the way its consumer economy functions, and how environment-conscious approaches may impact its supply chain.
Technology, Market Makers, and Environmentalism in the Palladium Industry
Before the palladium price ticker reaches your screen, mining companies dig over 1,000 meters deep to extract the raw, unprocessed ores.
The extracting, processing, and refinery plants of major mining companies are often in different locations, meaning transportation is also a determining factor of palladium prices — that’s some additional research if you really want to dive deep.
While technological advances look promising, palladium demand has been dependent on demand from the automotive industry, like platinum, where it is critical in catalytic converters. It is also a go-to metal in jewelry production as well as industries like healthcare and aviation.
Whether the demand for palladium will increase or fall depends on how the aforementioned practical and trend-driven factors can counter the expected drop in demand from oil-powered vehicles.
It’s also unclear as to exactly how drilling into the ground at depths of over one-kilometer impacts natural life around it. Ongoing research with the goal of environmental preservation will also have some impact on palladium prices. So too will governmental powers that regulate the metal.
The majority of palladium’s consumer base mostly industrial — we don’t go to the supermarket to buy palladium too often. It’s mainly used in the production of heavily processed products.
A good way to track palladium price performance is to explore stocks of companies that rely on or supply large quantities of palladium.
How Is Palladium Weighed?
The most common unit of measurement to weigh and price palladium is the standard ounce. An ounce of palladium is equivalent to 28 grams, more or less. To put that into perspective, an ounce of palladium on a necklace would result in a pretty heavy, flashy piece of jewelry.
Other than grams and ounces, palladium prices may also appear alongside the following weight units:
- Troy Ounce (t oz): While “t oz” is mainly used to measure gold, you might see palladium bullion listed in troy ounces by bullion dealers. One “t oz” is equal to 31.1034768 grams — so just over three grams more than a standard ounce.
- Kilogram (kg): One kilogram of palladium consists of 1,000 grams, or just over 35 ounces. Palladium prices may be calculated in kilos for some larger volume trades.
- Tonne (t): Like kilograms, it’s more common to hear of palladium in tonnes when discussing larger volumes. Tonnes of palladium are often heard of in economic and operational discussions of the metal. A tonne of palladium is equal to 1,000 kilograms, or 1,000,000 grams!
- Tael (in traditional Chinese: 兩): A Chinese unit of measurement, standardized to 50g. Palladium taels are rare, but may be more common in China.
- Tola (in Hindi: तोला): Like taels, tola is a rare weight unit to find alongside palladium prices. It was introduced by ancient Indian and other South Asian cultures to measure gold many years ago. The tola is now standardized to 3/8th of a troy ounce. That’s approximately 11.66 grams.
Why Is Palladium the Second Most Expensive Precious Metal?
Palladium belongs to the “platinum group” metals. But it’s more than twice as expensive as platinum and close to $1,000 more per ounce than gold.
In recent years, there have been global crackdowns on the palladium industry by governments and organizations aiming to tackle practices deemed destructive to the natural environment. One such government is China.
As it stands, the global palladium supply has been lagging behind the decrease in demand, meaning the price is bound to increase. This is a great example of how markets and palladium prices are controlled.
We also can’t discredit palladium for its wide range of uses. You can find palladium in watches, rings, dental instruments, and aircraft plugs. It’s a unique metal, and it has its price.
Today’s palladium price of $X per ounce may seem strange since it has been almost constantly increasing in price the last 5 years. However, regulations and new supply and demand dynamics can quickly bring palladium prices crashing down in the future, as it did in 2001.
What Currencies Is Palladium Quoted In?
If you see palladium prices, as you have at the top of this page, you’re most likely to find the US dollar as the benchmark currency. However, you can find palladium prices online in many other currency prices — including cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Also, the gold and silver standard have resulted in allocating a set monetary value to a specified weight of the precious metal, and this ripple effect reached metals like palladium.
Other currencies you may see palladium quoted in are GBP, CHF, JPY, CNY, AUD, and CAD, to name a few. International bullion dealers that offer palladium can list palladium prices in more than one national currency, depending on where they accept traders from.
Ways to Trade Palladium
So you’ve read about palladium prices and how they come about. If you want a piece of the action and wish to speculate on live palladium prices, there are many ways to do so.
Here you’ll find different ways to speculate on palladium prices, like owning the metal directly or investing in mining stocks.
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Palladium Bullion Dealers
Decided to buy palladium bars or coins? They’re harder to access than the likes of gold and silver, but they’re out there. These bullion dealers in may offer the precious metal menu you’re looking for.
More on Palladium
You can learn more about palladium in the following Commodity.com guides:
- Palladium As A Commodity: A guide to palladium as a metal, with discussions on its mining, processing, worldwide distribution, and uses.
- Palladium Trading: A guide on how to trade palladium, covering ways to trade and where you can do so.
- London Metal Exchange: European metal exchange with live palladium prices (LBMA palladium).
Since palladium is often mined together with other precious metals and common metals, you might find this precious metal guide useful. It also contains a summary of other guides to relevant metals like nickel and gold.
For other live precious metal prices, see:
Is palladium more expensive than gold?
Yes, palladium is considerably more expensive than gold. Palladium opened the year of 2021 above $2,400 per ounce, while gold was under $2,000. Palladium is also far scarcer in availability than gold, which may explain such a significant price difference.
How much is a gram of palladium worth?
If an ounce of palladium is worth $2,400 US dollars, then one gram of palladium is valued at $85.71 US dollars. Since there are approximately 28 grams in one standard ounce, you can calculate the per gram price of palladium by dividing the per ounce price by 28.
Why is palladium so expensive now?
Palladium supplies have dropped throughout the past few years, especially between 2019 and 2020. When supplies drop faster than the demand, it results in an increase in price. This is what happened to palladium. Today’s high palladium price is the consequence of the rapid drop in supply and a more gradual drop in demand.