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Strong vehicle market in 2016 to boost palladium, platinum: Commerzbank

2016-1-7

Signs that strong vehicle sales will continue into 2016 should help boost demand for platinum and palladium, used in catalytic converters by the auto industry, Commerzbank said in a note Wednesday. 

Industry organization Ward's Automotive Group Tuesday showed US sales totaled 17.38 million in 2015, exceeding the previous record in 2000, driven by cheaper gasoline prices in the US and a rise in real incomes.  December sales totaled 1.63 million vehicles, up 9% on the year.  "At an average age of over 11 years, the fleet of cars in the US is also relatively old," said Commerzbank.  "This, coupled with a solid US economy, could also make 2016 a year of robust vehicle sales."Palladium, used in gasoline catalytic converters, should profit especially because the US market is gasoline-dominated. European car sales were also very robust in 2015, with the most recent data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association showing new passenger car registrations 8.7% higher in the 11 months from January to November compared with 2014.  Palladium and platinum were the worst performing precious metals in 2015, both losing around 30% in value in the year having struggled with poor investment demand and oversupply.  The London Bullion Market Association platinum price settled at $893/oz Tuesday afternoon, unchanged on Monday, while palladium settled at $544/oz, down $6/oz on Monday.