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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1977
Year 1977, Volume 1 (1977)

Kummer, John T.
Molybdenum,   pp. 645-656 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 645

  645Molybdenum 
By John T. Kummer1 
 For the fifth consecutive year, worldwide consumption of molybdenum in 1977
exceeded mine production, with the result that inventories were further reduced.
World mine output increased 7% over that of 1976 to a record high of about
206 million pounds of molybdenum; still, world output was possibly 10 million
to 15 million pounds less than world demand. The United States accounted
for nearly 60% of the world output and exported over 67 million pounds, mostly
as concentrate and oxide, to alleviate the supply deficit for the rest of
the industrialized world. Reported U.S. consumption of primary products increased
8% to 54.6 million pounds, while apparent demand increased 2.3% to 61.4 million
pounds. Total domestic industry stocks fell to 28.8 million pounds, the lowest
level since yearend 1967. As a consequence of the current strong demand and
anticipated demand increases in the future, exploration and study of new
molybdenum sources were 
intensified, especially in the United States and Canada. One price increase
of 12% to 16% on molybdenum products was instituted by major producers during
the year. 
 Legislation and Government Programs—During 1977, the General Services
Administration (GSA) shipped 22,231 pounds of molybdenum in ferromolybdenum
from Government stockpile excesses. This quantity represented the last of
the molybdenum material in the stockpile. Present goals set by GSA do not
include molybdenum materials. 
 The Government stockpile of molybdenum in concentrate, oxide, and ferromolybdenum
was accumulated during the 1950's, reaching a maximum in 1959 of 84.6 million
pounds of molybdenum. Subsequent changes in stockpile objectives resulted
in the sale of these materials beginning in 1963 and the eventual depletion
of all forms in 1977. 
Table 1.—Salient molybdenum statistics 
(Thousand pounds of contained molybdenum and thousand dollars) 
1973 
1974 
1975 
1976 
1977 
United States: 
Concentrate: 
 Production                                  
 Shipments                                   
Value                                   
 Consumption                                 
 Importsforconsumption                        
 Stocks,Dec.31:Mineandplant                    
Primary products: 
 Production                                  
 Shipments                                   
 Consumption                                 
 Stocks, Dec. 31: Producers                       World:Production      
115,859 
135,097 
$217,721 
82,477 
458 
21,998 
85,046 
108,687 
57,049 
22,387 
180,088 
112,011 
118,163 
$234,658 
91,706 
155 
18,659 
88,509 
114,799 
63,476 
16,078 
185,568 
105,980 
105,170 
$259,328 
90,046 
2,567 
10,680 
87,501 
89,789 
51,743 
22,863 
176,713 
113,233 
114,527 
$333,494 
84,966 
2,093 
9,390 
83,970 
99,144 
50,448 
13,210 
p191,736 
122,408 
124,974 
$450,421 
91,041 
1,976 
9,161 
90,520 
100,626 
54,557 
10,141 
205,921 
TRevised. 


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