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ETF Securities USA recently filed with the SEC to launch exchange traded funds covering platinum and palladium. There are currently no exchange traded funds covering these metals available in the United States.

The same firm already offers ETFs for platinum and palladium which trade in Europe. According to the Wall Street Journal, the platinum holdings for the ETF approach 500,000 ounces.

Rumors of a platinum ETF for the US market briefly made the rounds back in May 2007 after the launch of the European ETFs. The rumors were quickly squelched as it was viewed as unlikely that the SEC would approve such a listing. At the time, the world's largest platinum producers were reportedly unsupportive of the idea and pressure from the US auto lobby against the ETF was viewed as likely.

With platinum more than 50% off its peak and auto manufacturers dealing with larger issues, there doesn't seem to be as much resistance this time around.

Here you can view the SEC filings for the proposed platinum and palladium ETFs. The filings indicate that the price per share would be equal to the value of one-tenth of an ounce of each metal. Yesterday, platinum traded at $1,175 and palladium traded at $231. The filings include world supply and demand figures for the metals for the past ten years. In 2008, reported supply exceeded reported demand for both platinum and palladium.

The ETFs would be launched at a time when obtaining physical platinum and palladium for investment continues to be difficult or at high premiums. In order to buy physical platinum in coins or bars, premiums can be $100 or more - if you can find them. The US Mint delayed the 2009 launch of their platinum bullion product the Platinum Eagle. This delay has continued without any update. Physical palladium for investment is usually obtained in bars. The Royal Canadian Mint briefly offered the Palladium Maple Leaf from 2005 to 2007, but ended the program due to low demand.

Disclosure: Long physical platinum.

Source: New ETFs to Be Launched for Platinum and Palladium