Steel Alloys / Molybdenum: Market outlook to 2016, 11th edition 2012
- 1. Summary
- 2. History, properties, occurrence and reserves of molybdenum
- 3. Molybdenum mining and production processes
- 4. World molybdenum production data
- 5. Molybdenum production capacity
- 6. Molybdenum production costs
- 7. Notes on molybdenum producing countries
- 8. Analysis of molybdenum international trade data
- 9. World consumption of molybdenum
- 10. Uses of molybdenum
- 11. Outlook for molybdenum consumption by product to 2016
- 12. Supply and demand of molybdenum
- 13. Molybdenum prices
Molybdenum: Market outlook to 2016, 11th edition 2012
Global demand for molybdenum bounced back from the impact of the global economic downturn by growing by just over 11% in 2010 and a further 9% in 2011. China now accounts for around 31% of global molybdenum demand and its growth rates continue to outpace those in other countries. While global demand for molybdenum is forecast to grow at an average of 4.6%py to 2016, Chinese demand is forecast to increase by 7.5%py. The principal engines of growth will be increased use of stainless and other steels containing molybdenum in process, power and desalination plants, in oil and gas production and distribution and in motor vehicle components. The greater use of molybdenum steels, high performance alloys and catalysts, combined with robust growth in the economies of the ‘BRIC’ countries and other countries in Asia and South America, will ensure growing future demand for molybdenum.
Primary molybdenum mines were the first to respond to the recovery in demand in 2010, but in 2011 growth in output of by-product molybdenum from copper mines outpaced growth from primary mines. In 2012, mine capacity is sufficient to meet demand and supply is likely to show a surplus over the next three years. Some sixty new projects and expansions could potentially produce molybdenum, yielding an additional 240ktpy Mo, indicating that long term mine supply is assured. In the past insufficient roasting capacity has resulted in a bottleneck, but additional capacity has been installed and further additions are under construction in Chile, China and the USA.
The longer term price prospects for molybdenum appear uncertain with apparent adequate existing mine capacity, and 140ktpy of relatively low cost by-product molybdenum in new copper-molybdenum mining projects under review, plus some 100ktpy in molybdenum-driven projects.
There are, however, positive features in that the global market for molybdenum is expected to grow by some 60ktpy Mo in the years to 2016, and that many projects are likely to be delayed in coming to fruition. Furthermore, production costs in excess of $12/lb in the large Chinese molybdenum-only mining industry, probably provide an effective floor for prices.
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- What proportion of additional supply in 2016 will come from copper-molybdenum projects?
- Which mining companies operate their own roasting plants?
- Who are the main producers of ferromolybdenum in China?
- What are the main factors affecting demand for molybdenum in stainless steel?
- How will increasing production of ultra-low-sulphur diesel affect the consumption of molybdenum in catalysts?
- What is the outlook for the supply demand balance to 2016?