News & Commentaries

Tuned Up - Recycling Today

June 15, 2004

It's "steady as she goes" in the catalytic converter market. The scrap market for PGMs (platinum group metals) is intimately tied to the catalytic converter market. While mined output of basic materials and speculators play roles, it is the catalytic converter market that drives the recycling sector.

"We're pretty steady," says Niel Shalit, CEO of Catalytic Converter Corp., Jamaica, N.Y. His firm deals mainly with recycling yards that produce 2,000 or more units per month.

Ashok Kumar, director of A-1 Specialized Services & Supplies Inc., the Pennsylvania-based multi-national recycler that specializes in lot consolidation and dry processing of salvage converters, says 2004 will end with global recycled production of platinum at 730,000 ounces, palladium at 450,000 ounces and rhodium at 120,000 ounces.

By year 2010, Kumar predicts these numbers will more than double, largely because of the sharply increased retirement of converter equipped cars in Western European countries.

TAKING INVENTORY. Jeff Couture, president of Prospera Metals Inc., Petrolia, Ontario, Canada, says he sees a lot of converters in the marketplace. Things really picked up in March and April. Prospera deals in Ontario, Quebec, Ohio and Michiganareas that had a dreary winter.

"Most scrap yards were pretty lazy getting converters off the yard in January and February," Couture says. "In March and April we were much busier."

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