The Russian state treasury, Gokhran, indicated that no pgm would be sold in 2001, forcing automakers (and other users) to move to ensure they would have adequate stocks. The white metal rose to $956 on the last trading day of 2000. In January of 2001, palladium hit a high of $1,090 (http://www.stillwaterpalladium.com/priceJM.html)
So, Russia stopped selling and palladium skyrocketed from $100 to $1000/oz due to car manufacturers needing it and Russia not selling it. Platinum jumped from $400 to over $600 as well, and, like Pd, fell back near its previous levels. The main reason for platinum rising and falling was also due to Russia's hoarding. At that time thousands of people were willing to invest. Palladium was higher than any other precious metal.
Well most people don't do it that way. When you find palladium cheap, like it is now, no one wants palladium. Invest when it was high and everyone wanted to invest! Palladium was bought mostly by car manufactures, but investors got in on it too.
Needless to say, when the prices fell, some investors and car companies lost millions. A few months ago everyone wanted platinum because it was so high. But not many are interested now that it's low. I think we'll continue to see palladium cheap for some time now, then when platinum follows silver and gold up, people will again want to invest. Palladium cheap and others high? Palladium will follow along slowly. So, it's easier to invest! Palladium just follows the trends, so you can't lose!
People now say there's a palladium surplus and it won't rise again as it did in 2001. Well, this year it reached $600 as gold was over $1000 and platinum was over $2000. So, although Pt and Pd are industrial metals, they are also attractive to those wanting to invest. Palladium is the most volatile, and the most alluring of the main four precious metals. It's sad that it's so unpopular.