SHANGHAI, Jan 31 (SMM) - As the supply deficit of molybdenum extends, molybdenum prices at home and broad both hit new highs.
In China, on January 29, a mining company in Luanchuan, Henan Province bid to sell molybdenum concentrate at a record-high weighted average price of 5,305 yuan/mtu.
As of January 30, the prices of molybdenum concentrate reportedly returned to the 5,450 yuan/mtu, a high point once seen in October 2005. In fact, the domestic molybdenum concentrate prices to date have gained 6.78 times compared to November, 2015.
Due to the impact of the covid-19 and power rationing, the domestic molybdenum concentrate output declined in 2022, while the overseas output also diminished due to aggressive production cuts of overseas mines. Therefore, the molybdenum concentrate inventory in the third quarter of 2022 posted a significant decline. Recently, steel mills have a strong demand to replenish molybdenum concentrate, driving the prices of molybdenum to soar.
Looking ahead, Huatai Securities believes that the molybdenum supply shortage will extend in 2023-2025, and the molybdenum prices are likely to trend higher.
On the supply side, the annual global molybdenum concentrate supply in 2023-2025 will see an increase of no more than 15,000 mt compared with 2021. As we know, the molybdenum output is stable from 2017 to 2021 at about 260,000 mt/year. China, as the world's largest supplier of molybdenum, contributed to 38% of the global supply in 2021. However, the global molybdenum output in 2022 is estimated at 246,800 mt due to production cuts at overseas mines and the declining grade of molybdenum ore.
In forecast, the new molybdenum capacity around the globe will be small during 2023-2025. It is estimated that the annual global molybdenum production in 2023-2025 will stand at 267,700, 273,700, 275,700 mt respectively.
On the demand side, the global demand may increase slightly from 2023 to 2025, and the market supply may continue to be in shortage. It is estimated that the annual shortfall in supply will be 24,100, 26,400, and 34,300 mt in 2023-2025.
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