Russia is the top global Palladium producer, followed by South Africa, Canada and the U.S.A.
Palladium can be found as a free metal alloyed with gold and other platinum-group metals in placer deposits of the Ural Mountains, Australia, Ethiopia, North and South America. For the production of palladium, these deposits play only a minor role. The most important commercial sources are nickel-copper deposits found in the Sudbury Basin, Ontario, and the Norilsk - Talnakh deposits in Siberia. The other large deposit is the Merensky Reef platinum group metals deposit within the Bushveld Igneous Complex South Africa. The Stillwater igneous complex of Montana and the Roby zone ore body of the Lac des Îles igneous complex of Ontario are the two other sources of palladium in Canada and the United States.
Most palladium is used for catalytic converters in the automobile industry. Over the last 20 years, Russian supply of palladium to the global market was repeatedly delayed and disrupted. The ensuing market panic sometimes drives up prices. One such even drove the price to an all-time high of $1100 per troy ounce in January 2001.
World demand for palladium increased from 100 tons in 1990 to nearly 300 tons in 2000. The global production of palladium from mines was 222 tonnes in 2006 (USGS). Currently many are concerned about a steady supply of palladium in the wake of Russia's military maneuvers in Ukraine, partly as sanctions could hamper Russian palladium exports; any restrictions on Russian palladium exports would exacerbate what is already expected to be a large palladium deficit in 2014.