Global demand for molybdenum-bearing stainless and alloy steels rose sharply
in 2010 and 2011, and is forecast to continue to rise. This is despite the
prevailing economic uncertainty arising from the Eurozone debt crisis. The
main industrial stimuli for this will come from the continuing transformation
of the economies in China, India, Brazil and other smaller, mainly Asian,
countries where the need for steels and other alloys able to operate in
extreme conditions is expanding.
The long term price prospects for molybdenum, however, are uncertain. There
appears to be sufficient existing mine capacity in 2012 and there is an
additional 140ktpy under review of relatively low cost by-product molybdenum
in new copper-molybdenum mining projects. On top of this, there is
another100ktpy of potential supply in molybdenum-driven projects. The counter
balance to this potential oversupply is that the global market for molybdenum
is expected to grow by some 60ktpy by 2016. It is also highly probable that
many projects on the drawing board will be delayed or postponed. Furthermore,
production costs at a minimum of $12/lb in the large Chinese molybdenum-only
mining industry should provide an effective floor price going forward.
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. Return to higher growth in the developed economies of North
America, Europe and Japan from 2013 onwards should also stimulate the
Get accurate answer from independent experts
- What are the long term price prospects for molybdenum?
- What is the extent of molybdenum resources at existing and potential
copper-molybdenum and molybdenum-only mines?
- What are the main markets for molybdenum geographically and by end-use?
- To what extent will the growing need for high grade stainless and alloy
steel able to operate in harsh conditions impact demand for molybdenum?