Gold, silver, copper, steel. Everyone’s talking about metals. But one solid performer that hasn’t entered the conversation yet is palladium.

Why should you have palladium on the brain? For starters, ETFS Physical Palladium (NYSEArca: PALL) is up more than 64% in the last six months alone. But that’s far from the only reason.

  • Analysts forecast a a continued strong year for the metal, though they warn that gains might be somewhat tempered and not as great as they were in 2010.
  • Amanda Cooper for Reuters reports that palladium almost doubled in price last year to reach highs not seen in close to a decade at $825.50, as investors prepared for surging demand in emerging economies such as China, where it is used in gasoline-powered vehicles.
  • Physically-backed ETFs may have also contributed to higher prices, since they’ve added another layer of demand and widened access to the metal. [Gold Who? Platinum and Palladium ETFs Shine.]
  • Claudia Carpenter for BusinessWeek reports that Palladium prices may rise to $1,200 an ounce in 2013 while platinum climbs to $2,200 an ounce, according to Credit Suisse. These are the two major industrial metals that are going to be in demand for the next decade.
  • Christopher Leonard for ABC reports that expectations of higher demand in the manufacturing sector are reinforcing the brighter outlook for overall global growth and demand for physical metals will rise as this happens. [Metals ETFs: Down But Not Out.]

In addition to PALL, ETF Securities also offers ETFS Physical Platinum (NYSEArca: PPLT), which owns physical platinum.

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.