NEW YORK The molybdenum market looks poised to follow a
familiar pattern in 2013, with restocking early in the year
leading to improved demand and a subsequent falloff toward
Thats a little something of a pattern thats
developed here over the past years. Thats not
historically always been the pattern, but it seems to be one
right now, Kevin Loughrey, chairman and chief executive
officer of Denver-based molybdenum producer Thompson Creek
Metals Co. Inc., told AMM
Loughreywho announced his plans to retire within the next
18 months (see related story, below)said he expects some
improvement in Chinese demand and a modest
improvement in the United States next year, while Western
Europe still remains a question mark.
You scratch your head and wonder in Western Europe.
Buyers there are buying cautiously, if at all, he
There will likely be more contract business done for 2013 as
sellers are eager to lock in volumes due to the relatively
thin spot market in 2012.
Theyll be anxious to sell on contract,
Consumers might restock mainly under formula-based contracts
when purchasing resumes early next year, which could leave
spot prices at low levels, Loughrey said.
The company reported a net loss of $48.3 million in its
third-quarter 2012, down from net income of $45.6 million in
the year-ago period. Revenues in the three months ended Sept.
30 were $74.9 million, compared with $154.8 million in the
year-prior quarter, primarily due to a weakening molybdenum
market and a $47-million impairment charge.
The moly market continues to be relatively weak due to
the weak performance of some of the subsets of the economy to
whom we sell, Loughrey said during the companys
third-quarter earnings call.
Molybdenum production stood at 6.1 million pounds during the
quarter, almost double the 3.7 million pounds achieved a year
ago, as the company mined higher ore grades at its Thompson
Creek Mine in Colorado.
However, the company sold only 3.3 million pounds of its
production due to the soft markets.
We intended to ramp those sales up in the second half
(due to expected higher production). Thats been a
little more difficult to do, Loughrey said during the
Cash costs for the quarter were $9.46 per pound, compared
with $15.62 per pound a year ago, the result of a recent
cost-saving decision to cease stripping activities at the
Thompson Creek Mine (
amm.com, Oct. 3
The companys average molybdenum sales price was $12.85
per pound, 17.8 percent lower than in the same period a year