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Molybdenum Production In Western Countries For Jan. - Sep. 2007 Was Unable To Stop Decrease
= Rushed Moly Exports By China Contributed To World Supply
When the quantities of molybdenum in molybdenum concentrates produced by major companies of the western world in January - September of 2007 have been traced, the total output of molybdenum in the first 9 months of 2007 has decreased compared with that in the same period of 2006. The decreased production of molybdenum in concentrates by major producers has come up to the surface at the stage of 2006 and this tendency has been still continuing on a basic tone even in 2007.

The total quantity of molybdenum in molybdenum concentrates produced in North America and South America during January - September of 2007 came to 207.4 million lbs., having decreased by 1.5% compared to that ( 210.4 million lbs. ) in the same period of 2006. It is anticipated that this basic tone to decrease production of molybdenum in concentrates will not change even in the calendar year ( January - December ) of 2007.

Since an information, which the Central Government of China will enforce the regulations for exports of Chinese molybdenum products in the course of 2007, was spread over the market from the beginning of 2007, Chinese suppliers were in a hurry to export more molybdenum products in the first half ( January - June ) of 2007. Namely, the net quantity of molybdenum exported from China ( exports were deducted from imports ) in the first half of 2007 came to 29.12 million lbs., having increased compared with that ( 15.08 million lbs. ) in the same period of 2006, and the net quantity of molybdenum exported from China in January - September of 2007 totaled to 37.4 million lbs., having increased by 36.5% compared to that ( 27.4 million lbs. ) in the same period of 2006.

However, a trend to export more molybdenum from China changed in July - September quarter of 2007 and the net quantity of molybdenum exported from China in the quarter was only 8.28 million lbs., because of the regulations for exports of molybdenum products enforced by Chinese Government from July of 2007. The apparent quantity of molybdenum exported by China in January - September of 2007 came to 51.10 million lbs. and that exported in July - September quarter of 2007 was known to be 13.4 million lbs. by means of deducting 37.7 million lbs. exported from China in the first half ( January - June ) of 2007.

The reason, why the production of molybdenum in concentrates in the western world has inclined to decrease, is due to the decreased production of molybdenum at such major molybdenum producers as Codelco / Chile, Kennecott / USA, Thompson Creek Metals / Canada, Antofagasta / Chile, and so on.

The largest producers of molybdenum - Codelco had an accident of cave-in at open-pit mine occurred in 2006 and, as an aftereffect of this accident, Codelco was driven to decrease their molybdenum production. In 2007, there are many cases to decrease molybdenum production as objective ore-body for mining has faced a lower content of molybdenum in crude ore. Also, strategic reason has been sporadically seen. Namely, copper is a main product for mining companies and, as a sharp rise of copper price has caused a forecast to maintain good profitability, the program for mining is thought to have been changed, because it is supposed that mining companies intend to preserve ore-body, containing high copper, and to mine ore-body, containing low copper, which requires higher mining cost but is still possible to maintain a profitability. This change of mining program is the usual routine applied by mining companies. It is also informed that these mining companies are scheduled to decrease their copper production in 2008.

The companies in the western countries, which increased their molybdenum production in 2007, are Freeport-McMoRan and Southern Peru. These two companies developed new copper mines and commenced to operate these new mines in 2007, resulting in an increase of molybdenum production to be recovered. This trend to increase molybdenum production is expected to continue even in 2008.

The quantities ( on Mo content base ) of molybdenum produced by main regions of the western world in January - September of 2007 were as per the table shown below ;
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last modified : Mon 26 Nov, 2007 [10:59]
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