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Molybdenum Pricing: Recycling Becomes a Key Factor Print E-mail
Written by Jack Lifton   
Tuesday, 31 October 2006

"Simply put, supply is not down. It is up. Only this supply doesn’t come from new mines, which take the 3 years since the price explosion that began in 2003 just to get permitted even in mining friendly American or Canadian states, provinces, or territories. It also doesn’t come from reopened mines that take just as long to get permitted and, even if permitting is easier as in China, just as with the new mines, may take another 3 years to get into production.


What actually seems to have happened in the market seen as a whole is that some steel mills and foundries discovered that by a small process change they could take advantage of the strategic metal values in the scrap from tool steel alloys. Constrained only by maximum allowable percentages of unnecessary, or inimical to the process, component metals the pioneering mills and foundries were able to get essentially all the molybdenum they needed for new production from scrap feed. They began to reduce their buy of ferromolybdenum immediately and in some cases dramatically.

Competitive advantage kept this new approach quiet and most of the market reporters missed it completely noting it, if at all, as a molybdenum or ferromolybdenum demand decrease."

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