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New high for global molybdenum production and use in 2014


Global production of molybdenum in 2014 reached a new high of 583.7 million lbs, up from the previous year’s record of 543.2 million lbs. Full year figures from the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA) also show global molybdenum use at 559 million lbs, breaking the previous year’s record high of 537.7 million lbs.

The greatest usage of molybdenum in 2014 was in China, where use increased from 196.2 million lbs in 2013 to 202 million lbs in 2014. Europe recorded the second biggest share with 143.4 million lbs, up from 140.4 million lbs in 2013. Japan and USA were joint third largest users by region, recording 59.7 million lbs each. Usage in the CIS was 24.6 million lbs, with other countries together totalling 69.7 million lbs.

China was also the biggest molybdenum producing area in 2014, with output increasing to 200.6 million lbs, up 3% from 194.9 million lbs in 2013. Production in North America rose from 181.3 million lbs in 2013 to 193.2 million lbs in 2014. South America was the third largest producing region, accounting for 147.5 million lbs in 2014, up 15% from 128 million lbs in 2013. Production in other countries increased from 39 million lbs in 2013 to 42.3 million lbs in 2014.

New figures for the fourth quarter of 2014, also released, saw total molybdenum production fall slightly, from 153.8 million lbs in Q3 to 148.1 in Q4. China’s molybdenum production increased from 51.1 in the third quarter of 2014 to 55.8 million lbs in Q4. North American production fell from 54.9 million lbs in Q3 to 42.7 in Q4, whilst South America’s rose from 37.2 million lbs in Q3 to 39.9 in Q4.

Global usage fell from 139.8 million lbs in Q3 to 136.2 in Q4. Usage in China decreased fractionally, from 50.7 million lbs in Q3 to 50.1 in Q4. Usage in Europe also fell slightly, from 34.7 million lbs in Q3 to 33.5 in Q4. Usage in USA and Japan was 15.2 and 14 million lbs respectively in Q4.

Tim Outteridge, IMOA’s Secretary-General, commented: “These figures indicate that molybdenum use remained buoyant throughout 2014. Figures for both production and use reached new highs again in 2014.”



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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