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Production and consumption

First traded on the LME: 2010
World production: 269,100 tonnes

Molybdenum, often referred to as ‘moly’, was first discovered in 1788. Molybdenum is a silvery metal with the sixth-highest melting point of any element. This ability to withstand extremely high temperatures and its high resistance to corrosion means it is widely used as an alloying agent in stainless steel, and also in the manufacture of aircraft parts and industrial motors.

Molybdenum is commonly a by-product of copper mining and is sourced in Chile, Mexico, Canada, Central Africa, USA and China.

World molybdenum production 2011

Graph showing molybdenum production by region


America 55
Asia 42
Europe 4

Source: WBMS

Industrial consumption 2011

Graph showing molybdenum usage by sector


Market Sector%
Other Alloys Steel 32
Stainless steel 29
Other 26
Chemicals 13

Source: CRU