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Global molybdenum production up again in 2012


Global production of molybdenum in 2012 reached a new high of 529.8 million lbs, up from last year’s record of 521.3 million lbs.Full year figures from the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA) also show global molybdenum use at 520.9 million lbs, just below last year’s record-breaking high of 522.1 million lbs.

The greatest usage of molybdenum in 2012 was recorded in China, where use increased from 177.6 million lbs in 2011 to 183.2 million lbs in 2012. Europe recorded the second biggest share with 139.7 million lbs, down from 148.9 million lbs in 2011.Japan and USA were the third and fourth largest users of molybdenum by country, recording near identical amounts of 55.1 and 55 million lbs respectively.Usage in the CIS was recorded at 20.5 million lbs, with other countries together totalling 67.3 million lbs.

China was also the biggest molybdenum producing area in 2012, with production increasing to 207 million lbs, eclipsing North America, the biggest producing area of 2011, at 176.2 million lbs, down from 183.1 million lbs in 2011.South America was the third largest producing region, accounting for 115.2 million lbs in 2012, down from 129.7 in 2011.Others contributed 31.4 million lbs in 2012.

New figures for the fourth quarter of 2012, also released, saw total molybdenum production rise from 129.6 million lbs in Q3 to 132.5 in Q4.China’s molybdenum production increased slightly from 49.2 in the third quarter of 2012 to 50.9 million lbs in Q4. North American production also rose to 46.7 million lbs in Q4, up from 43.9 in Q3.Production in South America fell slightly from 28.4 million lbs in Q3 to 27.3 in Q4.

Global usage fell from 130.5 million lbs in Q3 to 127.2 in Q4.Usage in China decreased slightly from 47.9 million lbs in Q3 to 47.2 in Q4.Usage in Europe also fell from 33.6 million lbs in Q3 to 32.5 in Q4.Japan and USA used 13.8 and 12.5 million lbs respectively in Q4.

Tim Outteridge, IMOA’s Secretary-General, commented: “Global production reached a new high again in 2012, with China’s output significantly higher in contrast with other major producing areas. Global use was down fractionally but remained close to last year’s record-breaking figure.”


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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