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Global molybdenum production and usage trends in 2023

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Data from the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA) reveals that global molybdenum production reached 627.4 million pounds (mlbs) in 2023, marking a notable 9% increase from the previous year’s figure of 577.8 mlbs. Concurrently, global molybdenum usage experienced a modest 1% rise to 630 mlbs from 625.1 mlbs in 2022.

China maintained its position as the leading producer of molybdenum, with production reaching 281.8 mlbs, reflecting a 13% increase from 2022’s 248.6 mlbs. South America retained its status as the second-largest producer, recording a 1% uptick to 168.5 mlbs compared to 166.7 mlbs in the prior year. North America also saw a marginal production increase of 1% to 113 mlbs from 112.1 mlbs in 2022. Notably, Other regions experienced the most significant percentage growth in production, surging by 27% to 64.1 mlbs from 50.4 mlbs in 2022.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, global production experienced a slight 1% decline to 161.4 mlbs compared to Q3 2023. This decrease was attributed to a 1% drop in South America and a 5% decrease in Other regions, while production levels in China and North America remained relatively stable. However, compared to Q4 2022, global production in Q4 2023 witnessed a 6% increase, with significant growth observed in Other regions (40%) and China (12%), despite declines in North America (6%) and South America (3%).

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On the consumption front, China remained the largest user of molybdenum in 2023, consuming 278.5 mlbs, reflecting a 4% increase from 2022’s 268.9 mlbs. Europe maintained its position as the second-largest consumer, with usage rising by 1% to 124.8 mlbs compared to 124.2 mlbs in the previous year. Conversely, Other regions experienced a 6% decline in usage to 93.3 mlbs from 99.3 mlbs in 2022. The USA witnessed the most significant percentage rise in usage, increasing by 5% to 64.4 mlbs from 61.3 mlbs in 2022. Meanwhile, Japan saw the largest percentage decline in usage, dropping by 7% to 47.5 mlbs from 50.9 mlbs in the prior year. Usage in the CIS region rose by 4% to 21.4 mlbs from 20.5 mlbs in 2022.

In Q4 2023, global usage of molybdenum increased by 4% to 166 mlbs compared to Q3 2023, with notable rises seen in Europe (9%), Other regions (5%), China (4%), and the USA (3%). However, CIS experienced a significant 6% decrease in usage, while Japan saw a 4% decline. Compared to Q4 2022, global usage in Q4 2023 surged by 6%, with substantial increases observed in CIS (20%), Other regions (14%), China (12%), and the USA (3%). Conversely, Japan witnessed the most substantial usage decline, dropping by 13%, while Europe saw a 3% decrease.

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