Why Cars Are So Noisy — Palladium Commodity Theft (Part 3)

2 min readJul 18, 2021

OK, so now you are thinking that with these small little flakes of platinum from stolen catalytic convertors, thieves probably can’t make a whole lot out of doing this. If there’s less than a fraction of a troy ounce (troy ounces are roughly 10% more than an avoirdupois ounce) of platinum in each cat, why bother?

First, let’s talk size: the global CC market is estimated to reach $180 billion by the year 2022, and growing at a rate of 7–8% per year. Divide that by $1,000 per CC, and you can see the volume demand numbers. The pièce de resistance is that CCs have other platinum group metals that are far more expensive than the current price of platinum.

Palladium is used as an oxidation catalyst in cats, and CCs currently account for more than half of the supply usage of palladium stock. It is also used experimentally as a catalytic reductant of water contaminants using palladium (Pd)-based chemical structures along with hydrogen gas.

Palladium is so expensive now that companies are offering electronics manufacturers a way to make thousands of dollars by recovering their dissolved palladium for recycle efforts. Palladium is used as a plating catalyst for electroless plating in circuit board manufacturing and semiconductor processes. One recycling management company is providing a 60x return on recovering waste palladium used in assembly processes.

Palladium is used in the alloying metal process of “white gold” wedding bands. Buy your sig-o a palladium ring anyway: palladium causes less allergic reactions than most other metals, and I’ll bet most people didn’t know that. I certainly didn’t.

But wait, there’s more — one other metal even more valuable in CCs….

Palladium price trends:

Closing price 7/16/2021 $2601.17

52-week price change +31.04%

10-year price change +246.82%

Edward Kim is co-founder and Chief Research/Compliance Officer at 3LA Ventures. You can contact him at ed@3lavc.com

July 17, 2021