Molybdenum Market Update (February 4, 2013)

Spot prices for ferromolybdenum, which is mainly used in steelmaking, sat between $12.75 and $13.50 a pound this week, little changed from the $12.75 to $13.25 range seen a month ago, according to data from Metal-Pages.

Molybdenum oxide (from which ferromolybdenum is made) currently trades for $11.45 to $11.55 a pound, compared to $11.50 to $11.60 a month ago.

Meanwhile, Platts reported that US steel production slipped 1 percent last week, to 1.806 million net short tons from 1.824 million net short tons the week before. Production was also down 5 percent from the same week in 2012. Year to date, the country’s steel output has declined 5.9 percent from the comparable 2012 period.

Last week, the China Iron and Steel Association said that it sees China’s steel demand rising 3.1 percent this year, up 0.6 percent from last year’s growth rate, as the country’s economy continues to recover. However, the association also said that ongoing oversupply will likely continue to hold back steelmakers’ profits. Chinese steelmakers consume roughly 30 percent of global molybdenum production.