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Palladium ETF Plunges on Russia Sanction Relief

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

A palladium-related ETF plunged Monday, testing its long-term trend lines, on hints that the U.S. might pullback sanctions on Russian companies.

The ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (PALL) declined 4.2% and was testing its long-term support at the 200-day simple moving average. Meanwhile, palladium spot prices were 3.9% lower to $989.7 per ounce.

The U.S. said it would provide sanctions relief to Russian aluminum giant Rusal if Russian oligarch and aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska cedes control of the company, easing fears Washington might extend sanctions to major palladium producer Nornickel, reports Maytaal Angel for Reuters.

Nornickel, the world's largest palladium producer, is linked with both Rusal and Deripaska - Rusal owns more than 25% of Norilsk Nickel Mining & Metallurgical Co. Concerns that the palladium producer might be targeted by U.S. sanctions had previously sent prices soaring when sanctions were first imposed.

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“It just is evidence of the volatility in the market and how much uncertainty is priced into the market at the moment,” Simona Gambarini, commodities economist at Capital Economics, told the Wall Street Journal.

How Sanctions Would Affect Russia Supply

Any sanctions or disruptions to Russian supply would help bolster the commodity's prices, especially in a tight market where consumption has outstripped production by 110.6 metric tons in 2017. Looking ahead, refiner Johnson Matthey projects the market will continue to remain in a large deficit this year.

“This is very much driven by the uncertainty of Norilsk Nickel supply in the world,” Suki Cooper, a precious metals analyst at Standard Chartered Bank, told Mining Weekly. “There’s not an acute shortage in palladium at the moment, but there are real concerns that we might face that.”

Palladium enjoys increased industrial demand as the global economy improves. Around 80% of palladium demand comes from use in catalytic converters in automobiles.

For more information on the palladium markets, visit our palladium category.