Palladium, which was expected to gain this year due to the high growth in auto ales in China and India, may in fact decline by 12 per cent to about $395 an ounce in the coming weeks.

Palladium is hugely used in catalytic converters in cars. Palladium has been the worst-performing precious metal last quarter.

According to Commerzbank AG, low price for palladium in May was $396.25 an ounce and in February it was $381.65.

And, another down leg to the $400/$395 region remains in the pipeline for the weeks ahead. In the short-term, a minor recovery could be seen but this is likely to fizzle out, the report said.

Palladium for immediate delivery traded at $447.05 an ounce in London on Friday. The metal, used mainly in auto exhaust catalysts and jewelry, declined 7.9 per cent last quarter. Prices are up 9.6 per cent this year.

Palladium is a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal that was discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston, who named it after the asteroid Pallas.

Palladium, along with platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium form a group of elements referred to as the platinum group metals (PGMs). Platinum group metals share similar chemical properties, but palladium has the lowest melting point and is the least dense of these precious metals.

The unique properties of palladium and other platinum group metals account for their widespread use. One in four goods manufactured today either contain platinum group metals or had platinum group metals play a key role during their manufacturing process.