Roskill recently released a market outlook on molybdenum.
The company expects that molybdenum growth rates will exceed
global GDP rates to 2016.
Global demand for molybdenum bounced back from the impact of
the global economic downturn, growing by just over 11% in 2010
and a further 9% in 2011, according to the report. 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% per year to 2016, Chinese demand is forecast to
increase by 7.5% per year. The principal engines of growth will
be increased use of stainless and other steels containing
molybdenum in process, power and desalination plants, in oil
production and distribution and in motor vehicle
components. The greater use of molybdenum steels and 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
Mine capacity sufficient to meet demand until 2015.
Primary molybdenum mines were the first to respond to the
recovery in demand in 2010, but, in 2011, growth in output of
byproduct 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. Roskill lists some 60 new projects and expansions that could potentially
produce molybdenum, yielding an additional 240 ktpy, indicating
that long-term mine supply is assured. Around 33% of new projects identified in 2012 are
located in North America, 28% in Central and South America and
10% in China. In the next two years, byproduct output is likely
to grow at a higher rate, but, from 2014 on, new Chinese
molybdenum-only projects will redress the balance.
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
US by Codelco, Molymet, China Molybdenum and JDC.