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New research highlights fastest growing markets for molybdenum


New research by the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA) has highlighted power generation, building and construction and transportation as the three fastest growing markets for the global molybdenum industry.

The research represents the most detailed analysis that IMOA has undertaken of the end uses for molybdenum.

The oil and gas industry remains the dominant end user of molybdenum, accounting for 20 per cent of the global market, using the metal in refinery catalysts, down-hole hardware and flow control products, heat exchangers and gas pipelines.

According to the research, which was carried out on IMOA’s behalf by leading market researcher, Markus Moll, the second biggest user of steels and alloys containing moly is the transport industry. Passenger cars, heavy vehicles and off-road vehicles, ships and trains make up 18 per cent of global moly usage.

Chemical and petrochemical processing, which makes up 15 per cent of global demand, is the third largest moly-using industry segment.

Mechanical engineering, currently particularly strong in Europe and also regaining momentum in the USA, is the fourth biggest moly user, taking a 12 per cent share of the global market.

Other industry segments include power generation (8 per cent), other process industries (8 per cent), architecture, building and construction (7 per cent), aerospace and defense (3 per cent), and consumer goods, electronics and medical (3 per cent).

The report forecasts that the three markets with the most growth potential are power generation, building and construction and transportation. Each of them is predicted to increase the amount of molybdenum they use by around 6 per cent a year between 2009 and 2019.

The growth is partly driven by some fast growing or new applications.

For power generation this includes renewable energy, notably wind turbine gears and shafts and conventional coal power plants where super alloys will find increased use as higher operating temperatures are required to improve efficiency.

In building and construction the main growth driver is urbanization, particularly in China, India and the Middle East.

For transportation it is the rise in off-road vehicles for the building/construction sector, railway transport expansion in India, China, North Africa and the Middle East and the increasing use of duplex grade stainless steel in chemical tanker applications instead of epoxy coated materials.

Other growth segments include the process and mechanical engineering industries both with an annual forecast growth rate of 4.9 per cent.

Currently, IMOA forecasts that moly use will increase by 4.5 per cent annually between 2009 and 2019. Regionally, China (5.8 per cent per year) and Other World (4.8 per cent per year) will grow faster than Europe and America (both below 3 per cent).

IMOA Secretary-General, Tim Outteridge, commented: “This research clearly shows that molybdenum has a wide-ranging and well balanced end-use structure distributed between capital goods and consumer products and late, mid and early cyclic industries. This will ensure sustainable future growth.”

Globally, around 212,000 tonnes of moly (including moly in scrap) was used in 2009 to produce the following materials: Engineering Steels (34 per cent), Stainless Steels (26 per cent), Tool and High Speed Steels (10 per cent), Cast Iron (7 per cent), Superalloys (5 per cent), Mo Metal (5 per cent) and Chemical Products (13 per cent.

Regionally, China is the largest user of moly, requiring 26 per cent of all moly worldwide. It is expected that China’s importance will increase in the next ten years to reach a share of more than 30 per cent by 2019.

More than 100 face-to-face discussions with key moly end-users as well as 150 telephone interviews with global moly users were conducted as part of this research.

General information for media

IMOA is a non profit trade association, representing the majority of the molybdenum industry worldwide. It works to raise awareness about the unique properties of molybdenum, its beneficial effects on materials performance, its safety in use and its contribution to sustainable development.

Molybdenum is added to alloy steels 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.

IMOA has a strict antitrust compliance policy which delegates of all meetings are required to observe. All such meetings are observed by legal counsel.

For more information please email the communications team at media@imoa.info.
For up-to-date information please follow IMOA on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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