Refining of precious metals

When is the best time to sell your catalyst?

We are frequently asked the following question: Which of the two solutions is more profitable? To sell the catalyst as quickly as possible after it is removed, or wait for the prices of the noble metals (platinum, palladium, rhodium) to rise and only then take your catalyst to the collection point and turn them into cash?

If it is just a single catalytic converter to be sold the differences in prices of noble metals will not play a role which is significant enough to wait a couple of months to get a better price while continuously monitoring the trends in the market.

Where the number of the catalytic converters is higher, be it 30, 50 or 100, any rise in price will have a direct impact on your possible gains.

Of course it is always you who is going to make the final decision. Still you should take into

account the current situation in the automotive market where platinum, palladium and rhodium

are most extensively used and the current price of those metals results from the demand for them. As it was mentioned before, the sales of Diesel engine-driven cars are falling drastically. It is a global trend which is going to continue in the future due to:

  • Consciousness of societies of the air cleanliness issues and more and more restrictive emission standards e.g. introduction of eco-zones in the centers of big cities, additional access fees, government subsidies for disposal of diesel cars;
  • Technological progress and increasing popularity of environmentally-friendly alternative drives i.e. hybrid and electrical drive (and hydrogen drive in the future)

When looking at the prices of noble metals we see downward trends followed by surge periods. Our natural tendency is to assume that each drop in prices has to be followed by a rise. However, it should be noted that the prices depend on the current economic, political and environmental situation. If we look at the platinum price trend of the recent 6 months we will easily notice that, despite periodical price surges, the overall trend is clearly downwards. Therefore, waiting for the tendency to improve is very risky.

While we are waiting for a “better moment” the price of platinum ounce is dropping and within a couple of months it may fall significantly below the current value instead of going up. So the risk is high.