Palladium Soars on Supply Squeeze

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"There is serious potential for higher palladium prices in 2011."

Most of the precious metals investing attention in 2010 focused on gold and silver. Investors flocked to the metals in search of safety from volatile stocks, rising inflation and a falling U.S. dollar.

And gold and silver delivered, rising 30% and 83%, respectively last year.

But another metal was also climbing at a rapid rate—even more than silver and gold—and is expected to keep going in 2011.

This trend did not go unnoticed by the following reader, who responded to Money Morning's silver articles by asking for more information on the other precious metal.

Excellent information on silver, now how about palladium?

Palladium was up more than silver in 2010, +96% versus +83%.

The new palladium ETF helped draw attention to this woefully undervalued metal that has no significant above-ground stashes, hoards, or inventories. It is so scarce the coin and bullion dealers don't even have any in quantity. Perhaps the Russians have unreported stashes? But that's about it in terms of global reserves.

"There is serious potential for higher palladium prices in 2011," said Krauth. "It's certainly much more of an industrial metal than a precious metal, as most of its use is commercial (a lot in automobile anti-pollution), rather than for investment or jewelry. Because of that, its continued rise will depend much more on a sustained economic growth."

Besides investor support for commodities, one of the key factors helping palladium's price surge in the New Year is the U.S. auto market's continued recovery and increasing demand from emerging markets like China and India. An increase in auto manufacturing will also push up the metal's price.

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