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The Wall Street Journal: Palladium and platinum prices jump after London market blocks Russian precious metals

Trading in two precious metals key to global industry got swept up in the disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine and Western sanctions against Russia.

The body that oversees London’s palladium and platinum market said Friday it would bar metal produced by two major refining companies owned by the Russian government. Prices for the metals soared on the move. Palladium futures
PA00,
+0.12%

rose 8.3% to about $2,407 a troy ounce following the suspension. Platinum futures
PL00,
-0.01%

rose 2.5% to $981.30 a troy ounce.

The London Platinum and Palladium Market, an industry group, said Friday it was removing JSC, the Gulidov Krasnoyarsk Non-Ferrous Metals Plant, and JSC Prioksky Plant of Non-Ferrous Metals from the list of refiners whose metal can be traded in the London and Zurich markets. The LPPM said bars produced by the companies—known as Krastsvetmet and PZCM respectively—on or before April 8 can still be bought and sold. Bars and sponges made after April 8 will be blocked.

Spokespeople for the suspended refining companies didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.

Russia is a big supplier of both metals, which are used in the auto industry alongside platinum’s role in jewelry. Palladium in particular has been in high demand in recent years thanks to tightening limits globally on harmful emissions from cars. Palladium goes into catalytic converters that reduce noxious substances in exhaust fumes from gasoline-powered cars.

The rally in palladium and platinum is the latest example of sharp moves in commodity markets sparked by the war in Europe. The conflict has disrupted exports of grains from Ukraine, a breadbasket. Prices for oil, natural-gas, coal, uranium and nickel have jumped on the threat of interruptions to shipments from Russia, a commodities superstore.

An expanded version of this story appears on WSJ.com.

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