The human population is on an exponential growth curve, going parabolic. Until a human die-off, all resources will go parabolic in price - rarer materials like rhodium, platinum, palladium, silver, and gold will go first.
When folks evaluate rare metals and other resource stocks saying we are in a 10 year bull market, don't they understand that the only thing that will stop this bull market is a major human die-off? If you pull back and look at the big picture, the nearly 7 billion folks on earth are starting the mad dash for remaining resources as we head to 8 then 9 then 10 then 12 billion people, while more and more resources are consumed and become more and more scarce.
How many above-ground and mine-able fractions of ounces of palladium existed per person on earth in 1970? how many exist today in 2008? Is there 1/10th of an ounce per person on earth today? What will that number be 10 years from now? (perhaps someone motivated could actually compute this number).
As people start to make a grab for these limited resources, palladium is going to go parabolic and nothing is going to stop it short of a human die-off, even that event will likely cause folks to abandon Walmart shares to go with precious metals and other resources.
Human population growth takes too long. There are quicker ways such as:
Only about 40 percent of the nation's 140 million people have access to electricity, according to the World Bank. Lack of power is an impediment to foreign investors. The Power Holding Co. of Nigeria has a generating capacity of 3,600 megawatts, or less than half the nation's demand, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Yar'Adua on March 31 said he seeking to boost Nigeria's power supply by 6,000 megawatts over the next 18 months.
In 18 months Nigeria plans to go from 3.6GW to 9.6GW installed capacity. Could mean that Nigerians that have electricity will go from 56M to 149M people in 18 months (or from 40% to 106%).
Yes, funny numbers, but the point is that it isn't population growth, but access to new technology that increases demand for products.
To wit, food shortages for wheat and beef in developing nations is caused by increased demand due to an increasing percentage of the population that demand a better grade of food.
Even with no population growth, there is a large increasing demand (China, India, Russia) for cars and the fuel to run the cars, resulting in an increasing demand for metals like platinum and palladium for catalytic converters and for catalytic refining of motor fuels.
They are already here and they want it all, and they want it right now. The problem is getting these 3rd world nations to clean up thier act. They all signed the Kyoto agreement, but very few have enacted any pollution controls on anything. It was all about the have nots screaming at the haves. Now they all want a oil based economy without the responsiblity that it entails. Emmission controls cost money.
1/10th an ounce PGM metals per person? You are day dreaming if you think each earthline can own 1/10 of an ounce of platinum or palladium. The actual number is far less.
Global platinum and palladium production is about 7M ounces per year. That divided by the 6.5B population on earth, gives you about 0.001 ounces palladium or platinum per person on earth. That's 100 times lower than your estimate. We are talking about 32 miligrams per person.
Pull out your cooking salt can, carefully pick out about 50 tiny grains of the salt, that's equivalent to the amount of platinum or palladium each person on earth can get per year.