Demand for palladium, last quarter’s best-performing precious metal, is exceeding supply for a second consecutive year as mine production stagnates while sales by automakers, the biggest buyers, reach record highs.
Chinese monthly passenger-vehicle sales rose to the highest in almost two years, beating analyst estimates, as consumer confidence improved with the economy and dealerships increased discounts to reduce stockpiles.
Toyota Motor Corp. production in China fell the most in at least a decade, leading a slump for Japanese automakers, after a sovereignty dispute over uninhabited islets triggered demonstrations and deterred buyers.
China may overtake Japan to become the country with the second-most vehicles on the road by next year, Shanghai Securities News reported, citing Xu Changming, a research director at the State Information Center.
China’s auto sales growth will slow to about 3 percent to 5 percent this year after government incentives that boosted deliveries in 2010 were removed, according to State Information Center Research Director Xu Changming.