Market volatility and global instability are often good for gold, as investors seek a safe haven.
In July, for instance, gold exchange-traded funds saw their largest inflows since November 2012, rising by nearly 484,000 ounces, according to a report published by ETF Securities on Monday.
But the momentum behind that metal is nothing compared to the positive gains of palladium.
Palladium futures have been trading at about $895 per ounce, a level they haven’t seen since early 2001.
The reason? Traders fears that sanctions could limit the export of this commodity — which is used for major car parts and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas — from Russia. In fact, some traders predict that the metal could rise to $1,000 an ounce.
Meanwhile, gold prices are up only about 5% this year.
For investors — who may own the ETFS Physical Palladium Shares ETF (PALL) — the metal is up 22% this year, and earlier this week, it made 13-year highs as it broke above $900 per troy ounce. Gold, meanwhile, is only up 5% in 2014.
“Relative to gold, [palladium’s] obviously outperformed quite significantly,” said Steven Pytlar, chief equity strategist at Prime Executions, told CNBC on Thursday. “There does appear to be more upside, at least according to the charts, on the long-term timeframe.”
“Depletion of the Russian inventory has been a big issue,” explained David Seaburg, head of equity sales trading at Cowen & Co., on the same program.
The price of palladium is rising due to increasing auto sales in China and the United States, which depend on it for the production of catalytic converters.
Supplies of the metal, also, are “very constrained,” according to Mike McGlone, ETF Securities’ U.S. director of research. Strikes earlier this year on South Africa caused a shock to production, he adds.