Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Palladium Prices

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Tom Taylor, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. Tom Taylor

    Tom Taylor Member

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    Gold closed today at $1276, silver at $1954, platinum at $1349, and palladium at $665. Gold and silver were both down today with platinum and palladium both being up in price. While all 4 metals, which are used in varying amounts by film photographers and printers, are down substantially over the past year the raw cost to us in terms of film or toning solutions have remained constant if not to have increased. While I can see some justification for film (a decreasing market and the continued high cost of maintaining the production infrastructure), I don't see why the cost of the other three metals have remained (in my case) constant or to have increased. Does anyone have an answer to this?
     
  2. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    That quandary may well be better suited for a market forum. I suggest the wisest answer I could give on this forum; is that logic and sense is not abounding these days.
     
  3. Clovis Blevins

    Clovis Blevins Member

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    The price of gold and other commodity metals didn't really go up when benchmarked against other raw materials, energy, food, etc. What really happened is the value of major currencies fell. Don't think "how much is an ounce of gold worth today?" It's the same gold that's been valued for millennia. The question to ask is "how much of this volatile currency does it take today to purchase an ounce of gold?" Now I sound like a late night tv commercial for coins! Feel free to slide this into the misc. category.
     
  4. Eugen Mezei

    Eugen Mezei Member

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    But that's exactly the problem of the OP. Why his currency gets lesser chemical today if the producer gets for the same currency more raw material.
     
  5. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    The film we're buying now could have been made a year or two ago and kept frozen and chopped and sent to B&H/Freestyle/Adorama/wherever last week. It's probably not a just-in-time inventory business. We just don't know.

    They've probably also hedged their silver to avoid increases which means they avoid some of the decreases too. Southwest for example hedges on jet fuel, and when companies do that they are less likely to be put out of business from supply cost volatility.

    They also have no need to lower their prices if costs go down. It's not a regulated utility. It's a business that will lower their prices if they have to or if it makes sense to.
     
  6. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    I am not sure if I follow your figures. Are they all priced per ounce? If so why is silver priced higher than Gold and Platinum - a typo?
     
  7. Tom Taylor

    Tom Taylor Member

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    $19.54. I left the decimal out.

    Thomas
     
  8. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Given the amount of silver in a roll or sheet of film, I would think it's a small fraction of the cost of manufacture, distribution and retailing. The cost of all the other raw materials going into film increases as well, and I would think it increases faster the smaller the volume the manufacturers' purchases become. What once was a high-volume business has become a niche market, and the economies of scale aren't as substantial as in the past.

    Buy it while you can. The cost will never come down.
     
  9. Tom Taylor

    Tom Taylor Member

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    As I stated earlier, I can understand the cost for film. But besides film, I also purchase silver nitrate, gold chloride, potassium chloroplatinite and sodium palladium. It's their cost that has not budged with the declining market prices.
     
  10. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    Probably because your supplier's costs don't turn on a dime, either. The big drop in commodity prices has been just in the past few weeks. Your suppliers may still be using materials they purchased (or bought contracts for) prior to that.
     
  11. jvo

    jvo Subscriber

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    capitilism

    it's what the market will bear... in other words what people will pay - CAPITALISM rules!!!!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2013
  12. Tom Taylor

    Tom Taylor Member

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    Yes, but Capitalism's economic theroy (Keynesian?) tells us that a steady or high supply coupled with a low demand results in a lower market price. In these cases the supply has probably been steady but the demand has weakened. Nevertheless the price has remained steady if not higher - in conflict with the theory.

    Maybe we need a new economic theory.
     
  13. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I believe we've had quite enough of Keynsian economics. I certainly have.
     
  14. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    All throughout history mankind has valued metals such as gold and silver far beyond their practical value. Blame human nature and marketing weasels that try to sell people gold as "an inflation hedge."
     
  15. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    Any manufacturer of a product that needs a commodity that is sold on an exchange will not only hedge their purchases, which means that they pay what the market things the stuff will sell for several months out, but also leave a margin in their pricing so they don't have to change the price every few weeks. Airlines will allow for fuel prices for example. If silver suddenly starts selling for a couple of months at 10 bucks, then you can expect a few manufacturers to offer some special sales. If it stays that was for a year, then the prices may go down.
     
  16. FredW

    FredW Member

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    Also remember, the use of platinum and palladium is used as a catalyst in many important industrial process. This in itself helps support its price. They are also present in all automobiles, i.e. the catalytic converter. Its use in photographic image making is probably only a tiny fraction of the other uses.
     
  17. martellsv

    martellsv Member

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    Ilford in a Press note, if i remember, said to climb de prices a 25% in the Winter of 2011-2012, because the price of silver about 50 this is the top. Metals are a speculative value, like wall street, this is the reason i thinkm, and now the price is 19, like on 2008...