International Molybdenum Association (IMOA) show increases in the global production and use of molybdenum, compared to the same quarter in 2017. Figures for the first quarter of 2018 show global production at 137.5M pounds, an increase of 6%, and global use at 141.6M pounds, an increase of 5%, compared with the same period in 2017.
South America overtook China to become the biggest producer, with 48M pounds in the first quarter of 2018. Although this represented a fall of 6% from the previous quarter, it is 11% higher compared with Q1 2017. Production in China also fell to 46.6M pounds, down 14% from the previous quarter, but an increase of 2% on the same period in 2017. Production in North America was lower at 32.8M pounds, a decrease of 4% from the previous quarter but an increase of 7% compared with the same quarter in 2017.
China remained the biggest user, at 48M pounds in the first quarter of 2018, down 17% from 57.9M pounds in the last quarter of 2017. Europe was the second largest user at 36.7M pounds, an increase of 5% from 35M pounds in the previous quarter.
Usage in the USA was 14.8M pounds, up 5% from 14M pounds in the previous quarter, while usage in Japan also increased, rising by 5% to 14.8M pounds. Usage in the CIS countries increased fractionally to 5.1M pounds, while usage in other countries fell by an equally small amount to 22.2M pounds.