SOURCE: Stillwater Mining Company

Stillwater Mining Company

April 15, 2010 17:30 ET

Consensus Appears to Be Emerging on Palladium Outlook

COLUMBUS, MT--(Marketwire - April 15, 2010) -  STILLWATER MINING COMPANY (NYSE: SWC) today commented that a consensus appears to be forming around the tightening market outlook for palladium supplies. The company issued a press release last week in conjunction with the mailing of its Annual Report to Shareholders in which it quoted the company's chairman and CEO, Frank McAllister, as saying, "a fundamental palladium market deficit potentially lies directly ahead which will leave incremental palladium supply reliant on existing stocks, recycling supply, ... and still [will fall] short of meeting demand." Included in the company's Annual Report is a section entitled, "The Case for Palladium" which elaborates on the supply and demand factors which contribute to the company's view.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg quoted Neville Nicholau, the chief executive officer of Anglo Platinum Ltd. -- the largest South African PGM producer -- noting, "Palladium may be in deficit for most of the next decade as Russia depletes inventories and uses for the metal increase." Anglo Platinum produces 21 percent of the world's palladium output.

Similarly, Derek Engelbrecht, marketing group executive of Impala Platinum, in February of this year commented that he expected the palladium market to swing from a surplus of 305,000 ounces in 2009 to a deficit of 810,000 ounces in 2010. He also projected that the palladium price could double over the next five years -- the palladium price at the time he made this comment was about $430 per ounce, compared to $545 per ounce Wednesday afternoon in London.

And the president of Audi America, Johan de Nysschen, was quoted in Automotive News on Tuesday as saying the carmaker is "short of everything" in the U.S., referring to a sharp rebound in 2010 auto sales. Commenting on this remark, Automotive News noted, "...one of our strongest convictions this year is for a rebound in auto-related PGM demand as worldwide vehicle production rises, forcing a restocking of the metal inventories run down in 2009. The Audi comments reinforce our view that there is limited excess supply in the system: with inventories low, returning U.S. auto demand this year had caused a much greater production response. U.S. car and truck production year to date (April 10) is up 63.4% from a year earlier. Given that the U.S. is primarily a gasoline market, this is good news mainly for palladium, but platinum also reaps some benefits from the heavy-duty sector."

Meanwhile, the market price ratio of palladium to platinum, based on Thursday's afternoon prices on the London Bullion Market, has increased to 31.5%, up from 26.9% at the beginning of 2010, a trend based on projected differential growth in palladium demand that according to Stillwater's Annual Report is expected to continue.

Stillwater Mining Company is the only U.S. producer of palladium and platinum and is the largest primary producer of platinum group metals outside of South Africa and Russia. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWC. Information on Stillwater Mining Company can be found at its web site: www.stillwatermining.com.