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Global molybdenum usage rises as the world begins easing out of the pandemic, while production falls in 2021


Global production of molybdenum was 581.4 million pounds in 2021, a fall of 3% from 602.4 million pounds in 2020, figures released by the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA) show. Global usage rose 14% to 614.3 million pounds from 539.7 million pounds the previous year.

China, the only region to see a rise in production, was the largest producer of molybdenum at 222.3 million pounds, up 14% from 195.0 million pounds in 2020. South America, the second largest producer at 181.3 million pounds, saw a fall of 9% from 198.9 million pounds the previous year. North America produced 128.6 million pounds, a 16% drop from 153.7 million pounds in 2020. Other regions saw a 10% drop ub production to 49.2 million pounds from 54.8 million pounds in 2020.

Global production in Q4 2021 remained the same when compared to Q3 2021, with a fall of 2% in South America, 8% in North America and 4 % in other regions. China was the only region to see a rise in production, 6% when compared to Q3 2021. When compared to the same quarter of the previous year (Q4 2020), there was an 11% fall in global production. China was, again, the only region to see an increase, 4%, in production when compared to the same quarter of the previous year. South America saw a 13% reduction, North America a 27% fall, while other regions experienced a 16% fall when compared to Q4 2020.

China remained the largest user of molybdenum, 245.6 million pounds, in 2021 but saw the smallest rise, up 5% from 234.6 million pounds, when compared to 2020. Europe remained the second largest user of molybdenum at 129.9 million pounds, up 11% from 116.9 million pounds in 2020. Other regions saw a 29% rise in usage from 77.8 million pounds to 100.6 million pounds in 2021. The USA, the fourth largest user, saw the largest rise, 30%, to 59.9 million pounds from 46.2 million pounds in 2020. Japan saw a 16% increase to 52.6 million pounds from 45.1 million pounds in 2020. CIS saw a 35% rise to 25.7 million pounds from 19.0 million pounds in 2020.

In Q4 global usage fell 3% to 141.5 million pounds when compared to Q3 2021, with a fall of 3% in China, 3% in Europe, 9% in Other regions and 1% in USA. CIS saw the largest percentage increase at 14%, while Japan saw a 4% rise when compared to the previous quarter. When compared to the same quarter of the previous year (Q4 2020), global usage fell 7%, with a fall of 21% in China and 7% in Europe. CIS saw the largest percentage increase of 22%, the USA saw a 19% rise, Other regions saw a 7% increase and Japan saw a 16% rise when compared to Q4 2020.

The news release, originally issued in April, contains amended figures and was updated on 17 June 2022.

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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