Palladium price soars on South Africa strikes, Russia tensions

An almost two-month-old strike at South Africa’s PGM mines showing no signs of ending and a stand-off between the West and Russia have combined to push the palladium price to a two-and-a-half year high.

Spot palladium touched the $800 an ounce level on Friday, the highest level since September 2011, before easing to $788.60 an ounce, still up more than 2% on the day and showing double digit gains for 2014.

South Africa and Russia combined account for close to 80% of global supply of the precious metal which is mainly used to clean emissions in automobiles.