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Global Molybdenum Production and Use at New High


Global production of molybdenum in 2013 reached a new high of 539.2 million lbs, up from the previous year’s record of 535.2 million lbs. Full year figures from the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA) also show global molybdenum use at 537.7 million lbs, breaking the previous year’s record high of 522.5 million lbs.

The greatest usage of molybdenum in 2013 was in China, where use increased from 188.4 million lbs in 2012 to 196.2 million lbs in 2013. Europe recorded the second biggest share with 140.4 million lbs, up from 135.9 million lbs in 2012. Japan and USA were the third and fourth largest users of molybdenum by region, recording 57.4 and 56.1million lbs respectively. Usage in the CIS was 23 million lbs, with other countries together totalling 64.6 million lbs.

China was also the biggest molybdenum producing area in 2013, although output fell slightly to 194.9 million lbs, compared to the previous year’s record high of 207 million lbs. Production in North America rose from 176.5 million lbs in 2012 to 180.5 million lbs in 2013. South America was the third largest producing region, accounting for 128 million lbs in 2013, up from 118.7 in 2012. Production in other countries increased slightly from 33 to 35.7 million lbs in 2013.

New figures for the fourth quarter of 2013, also released, saw total molybdenum production rise from 134.9 million lbs in Q3 to 141.4 in Q4. China’s molybdenum production increased slightly from 49.7 in the third quarter of 2013 to 51.2 million lbs in Q4. North American production fell slightly, from 44.5 million lbs in Q3 to 43.2 in Q4. Production in South America increased from 31.7 million lbs in Q3 to 38.1 in Q4.

Global usage increased from 137.5 million lbs in Q3 to 138.2 in Q4. Usage in China decreased slightly from 52.9 million lbs in Q3 to 51.6 in Q4. Usage in Europe increased 34 million lbs in Q3 to 35.1 in Q4. Japan and USA used 14.4 and 14.2 million lbs respectively in Q4.

Tim Outteridge, IMOA’s Secretary-General, commented: “These figures indicate that molybdenum use remained buoyant throughout 2013, with production keeping pace or slightly exceeding demand. Figures for both production and use reached new highs once again in 2013.”





Notes for editors

IMOA is a non-profit trade association representing the interests of most of the world’s molybdenum producers and converters, as well as consumers and traders. 

Molybdenum is added to steels and cast irons to improve strength, toughness, hardenability and weldability for numerous applications in the automotive, shipbuilding, construction, mining, chemical, oil & gas and energy generation industries.   

In stainless steels and superalloys, it improves corrosion resistance and high-temperature performance and finds uses in many industrial applications. It is also used in a variety of products from catalysts and lubricants to pigments and paint.


For more information contact:

Alan Hughes
T: +44 (0)1606 852011
M: +44 (0)7759 243969



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