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PALLADIUM

The outlook for palladium is robust as the metal has seen strong demand from the auto catalyst industry accounting for roughly 50% of its usage. There is also strong demand for jewelry and a host of industrial applications, many of which are growth markets and should continue to push prices higher. Investment demand has also increased in recent years. On the supply side output is expected to grow by 5% in 2007, however this will not be able to keep up with the expected 8% increase in demand.

Produced as a by-product of platinum and nickel mining, Palladium is primarily an industrial metal, often applied in a number of uses as an alloy of platinum. Investment demand for palladium exists, although to a lesser extent than gold, silver, and platinum. Russia is the largest producer of palladium. The second largest source of palladium flows from South Africa, with smaller amounts of palladium recovered in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Australia, Finland, and Zimbabwe.

PRIMARY USES OF PALLADIUM
Primary uses for palladium are electronics, cold fusion experiments, and platinum-based auto catalysts. Palladium is also used in electronic components and connectors. Palladium paste is used in semiconductors found in most personal computers, cellular telephones, and an enormous range of electronically controlled devices. Palladium is also combined with gold to create dental alloys. Palladium is joined with gold to lighten the color of the alloy and heighten its corrosion-resistance properties.