“Palladium is expected to be the top performing precious metal, because of its use in auto catalytic converters in small-engine, gasoline-driven cars,” said Patricia Mohr, vice-president at Scotiabank Group. That statement, made in response to more and more demand for automobiles in China, India, and other Asian markets, is part of what had driven palladium to incredible highs in 2010 and promises to deliver strong demand again in 2011. Many readers will remember that palladium is a key element used in gasoline-powered automobiles, working in the catalytic converter as part of the emissions control for the vehicle. This demand for more automobiles, coupled with fears that Russian stockpiles of the metal were going to be exhausted, drove the price of the precious metal to levels not experienced in over ten years. This year alone palladium prices nearly doubled in price, reaching $825 per troy ounce, and a poll of 45 precious metal investment analysts predicts the median price for 2011 will be $795. Such stability should continue to make palladium a wise investment option. The rapid growth it has experienced in the last year also helped palladium outshine all the other precious metals, including gold, silver, and even platinum. While 2011 promises to be yet another glittering year for palladium, there is some caution regarding the precious metal as large countries such as China are forced to embrace cleaner and improved emissions systems for automobiles, systems that sometimes favor platinum over palladium. Likewise, the prospect of additional supply increases of the precious metal from Russia could also dampen prices somewhat. But even with these factors that could possibly reduce the price of palladium, the precious metal is expected to shine brightly in 2011, making it a solid investment strategy for the year ahead.