South Africa is the second-largest producer of palladium behind Russia. Speculations that sanctions against Russia could disrupt exports have also pushed up prices.
Other metals were mixed in Wednesday trading. Copper for July slipped a penny to $3.04 a pound. Platinum for July fell $1.10 to $1,481.10 an ounce.
Gold for August rose $1.10 to $1,261.20 an ounce, while silver for July was flat at $19.17.
In other trading, prices for corn and wheat dropped after the U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its forecast for worldwide stockpiles and production of both crops.
Wheat fell 12 cents to settle at $5.89 a bushel. Corn dropped 5 cents to $4.41 while soybeans slipped 17 cents to $14.46.
Warmer weather in the Midwestern U.S., combined with rainfall to parched growing regions, has knocked crop futures down this month. Wheat has dropped 6 percent, and corn has dropped 5 percent.
Crude oil for July delivery rose 5 cents to $104.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
Wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to $3.00 a gallon.
Natural gas slipped 2 cents to $4.51 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Heating oil added 2 cents to $2.90 a gallon.