Global molybdenum (Mo) production increased by 5pc to 291,000t (263,990mt) in 2020 compared to 2019, according to the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS).
Molybdenum is a key raw material used to produce stainless steel and high strength low alloy steel, and mostly occurs as sulphide ore, WBMS indicated in a statement on Monday.
In 2020, China produced the highest volumes of Mo despite an 8pc decline to 96,000t compared to the prior year and contributed to a third of the global production. Chile’s Mo production accounted for 20pc of the global share. Its output of the material grew by 8pc to 59,000t during the same period.
In the US, Mo production increased by 23pc to 53,000t in 2020 compared to 2019 contributing to 18pc of the total global output. Peru’s Mo production also rose by 6pc while Armenia and Iran’s outputs grew by 75pc and 108pc, respectively during the same timeframe.
Unroasted Mo concentrate’s global exports increased by 16pc to 207,000t in 2020 from 2019. Of this total, the USA’s exports dropped by 5pc in 2020 from the prior year and accounted for 30pc of global exports. Peru’s exports however rose by 2pc in 2020 on an annual basis accounting for 28pc of the total global exports. Chile’s Mo exports rose by 40pc last year from 2019 contributing to 20pc of the total global exports.
Armenia’s shipments accounted for 8pc of the total global export volume and increased eight times over the prior year, while shipments from Mexico and Korea jumped by 44pc and 50pc in 2020 on an annual basis. Canada’s Mo exports, however, declined by 40pc in 2020.
Global unroasted Mo concentrate imports increased by 56pc to 154,000t in 2020 compared to 99,000t in 2019. China’s Mo imports rose from 13,000t in 2019 to 59,000t last year and accounted for 28pc of the total global imports. Chile’s imports surged by 58pc in 2020 to 41,000t from 2019, accounting for 27pc of the total global imports.
S.Korea is the largest producer of specialty steel products and was the third-largest importer of Mo in 2020 with a 7pc increase to 16,500t compared to 2019. USA’s import of Mo however fell by 25pc to 15,000t in the same period, WBMS reported.
Global exports of roasted Mo concentrate, which is mainly used to produce stainless steel, grew by 16pc to 142,000t in 2020 compared to 2019. In the same period, Chile’s exports of the material grew by 30pc to 85,000t, while Belgium and Mexico accounted for 15pc and 14pc of the total global exports.
Global import of roasted Mo concentrate rose by 9pc to 155,000t last year compared to 2019 with China’s imports increasing by five times to 40,000t and accounting for 25pc of total global imports. Japan and S.Korea contributed 20pc and 15pc to total global imports, respectively.