Global production of molybdenum which is an important alloying element for steels and cast irons to improve strength, toughness, hardenability and weldability, reached a new high of 529.8M lbs (240.3kt) in 2012, up 1.6% from 2011’s record of 521.3M lbs (236.4kt).

Full year figures from the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA) also show global molybdenum use at 520.9M lbs (236.7kt), just below last year’s record-breaking high of 522.1M lbs (236.8kt).

The greatest usage of molybdenum in 2012 was recorded in China, which increased 3.1% from 177.6M lbs (80.5kt) in 2011 to 183.2M lbs (83.1kt) in 2012. China was also the biggest molybdenum producing area in 2012, with production increasing to 207M lbs (93.9kt) eclipsing North America, the previous biggest producer.