The price of palladium continues to hover at six-year lows. This lethargy has taken by surprise the many speculators - albeit well-informed - who were betting on an imminent turnaround.

Russia and South Africa together control almost all the world's palladium production. Palladium is not included in the sanctions targeting the former, but dealing with it is bound to be more difficult than before, especially if you pay in dollars.

The latter, for its part, is subject to chronic production problems, not least because its infrastructure is falling into disrepair. Last year, the Anglo-American mining group bore the brunt of these problems.

Despite this context, the price of palladium has not taken off on the world market. The market is buzzing with rumors, but the well-informed traders with whom we speak probably have three main reasons for this.

Firstly, platinum is replacing palladium in a growing number of industrial applications; secondly, inventories remain at record levels in China; and thirdly, Russian producers are aggressively dumping palladium to support the country's war effort in Ukraine.

Adventurous investors with views on the subject can bet on a rebound via the Physical Palladium Shares and Palladium ETF listed funds managed by abrdn and ZKB. Launched fifteen years ago, both have produced disappointing performances overall.

The Physical Platinum and Palladium Trust managed by Sprott, for its part, produced a negative performance despite - or because of - a more balanced exposure between palladium and platinum.

It's notable that, among the precious metals, palladium and rhodium experienced unbelievable speculative spikes before the bellows fell sharply. The price of rhodium, for example, increased tenfold twice in ten years.

The price of palladium experienced a similar boom at the start of the pandemic. Perhaps we need to wait until the stocks built up during the accumulation dynamic observed at that time are finally consumed before we can hope to see a rebound.