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Global molybdenum production rises while usage falls in 2019


Global production of molybdenum rose by 1% in 2019 to 575.4 million pounds from 571.5 million pounds in 2018, figures released today by the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA) show. Global use was 569.6 million pounds in 2019, a fall of 2% from 583.2 million pounds the previous year.

China remained the largest producer at 205.6 million pounds in 2019, up 2% from 201.9 million pounds in 2018. Production in South America, the second largest producer, fell 4% to 187.2 million pounds from 194.9 million pounds in 2018. North America produced 141.8 million pounds, a rise of 5% from 134.9 million pounds in 2018. Production in other regions rose by 3% in 2019 to 40.8 million pounds from 39.8 million pounds the previous year. Production in Q4 2019 rose by 5% in comparison to Q3, with a significant rise of 12% in North America, 7% in South America and 5% in other regions while China's production remained static. China's production was 13% less in Q4 when compared to Q3 of 2018, while North and South America both saw 1% increases in production and other regions saw a 4% rise.

China remained the largest user of molybdenum, at 217 million pounds in 2019 a rise of 1% from 214.5 million pounds in 2018. Europe remained the second largest user at 131.3 million pounds but this represented an 8% decrease from 143.3 million pounds in 2018. The USA, the fifth largest user of molybdenum, also saw an 8% decrease in use to 55.3 million pounds from 60 million pounds in 2018. Other regions saw an increase of 1% in their use to 88.4 million pounds from 87.7 million pounds the previous year. Japan, having seen an 8% rise in use in 2018, saw a 1% fall in 2019 to 55.7 million pounds from 56.4 million pounds the previous year. Use in CIS saw a rise of 3% to 21.8 million pounds from 21.2 million pounds in 2018.

In Q4 global usage rose by 3% when compared to Q3 and the same quarter in 2018. Usage in Europe fell 18% when compared to the same quarter of the previous year, although this represented a 3% fall when compared to Q3 2019. USA saw an 11% fall in Q4 when compared to the same quarter of 2018, but a 3% fall when compared to the previous quarter. China saw a 23% rise in usage in Q4 to 58.1 million pounds when compared to the same quarter of the previous year, this represented an 8% rise when compared to Q3 2019.


Notes for editors
IMOA is a non-profit trade association. We currently represent around 90% of mine production and almost all conversion capacity outside China. We also represent some mining and conversion capacity within China.

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.

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
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