NEW YORK The global molybdenum market was essentially in balance last year, with production exceeding consumption by just 4,000 tons, according to a report from Beijing-based market research company Research in China.
Global molybdenum output totaled 229,000 tons in 2012 while consumption was 225,000 tons,the report said.
China produced 92,000 tons of molybdenum in 2012, accounting for 40.2 percent of global molybdenum output. The country consumed 85,000 tons, or 37.8 percent of global consumption.
Phoenix-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. was the largest molybdenum producer, with a 17-percent share of the global market, followed by Santiago, Chile-based Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) and Mexico City-based Grupo Mexico SAB de CV.
Some molybdenum mines currently under construction will start production in 2014, including the Sierra Gorda copper-molybdenum mine in Chile, while Grupo Mexico also plans to increase molybdenum production (amm.com, Feb. 26).