Rhodium

The primary use of this element is in automobiles as a catalytic converter, which changes harmful unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide emissions from the engine into less noxious gases. Of 27,200 kg of rhodium consumed worldwide in 2010, some 22,500 kg (82.7%) went into and 7,300 kg were recovered from this application. About 1,770 kg of rhodium was used in the glass industry, mostly for production of fiberglass and flat-panel glass, and 2,110 kg in the chemical industry.


Rhodium price: 12 months
Rhodium charts on InfoMine.com
The main exporter of rhodium is South Africa (approximately 80% in 2010) followed by Russia. The annual world production of this element is less than 30 tonnes and there are very few rhodium-bearing minerals. The price of rhodium is historically highly variable. In 2007, rhodium cost approximately eight times more than gold, 450 times more than silver, and 27,250 times more than copper by weight. In 2008, the price briefly rose above $10,000 per ounce. The economic slowdown of the 3rd quarter of 2008 pushed rhodium prices sharply back below $1,000 per ounce, but they rebounded to $2,750 by early 2010 (over twice the gold price).