Waterfall, Lamoille Canyon, Ruby Mountains
Friday, January 19, 2018 AM
General Moly (GMO) sees a brighter future for Molybdenum oxide prices. Here are their thoughts form a recent press release:
Molybdenum was one of the best performing metals in price appreciation in 2017, according to the CPM Group, a leading commodities research and consulting firm in New York. The molybdenum spot price strengthened during 2017, supported by increased specialty steel output, driven by the global recovery in oil and gas drilling. During 2017, molybdenum spot price climbed to the $8 - $9 per pound range during August through November, before hitting double digits early this year.
Molybdenum Demand Rising from Oil & Gas End Use
Commenting on the molybdenum outlook for 2018, General Moly Chief Executive Officer Bruce D. Hansen said, "We are excited by the robust performance in the molybdenum (moly) spot price in the new year. Moly is the premier alloy to toughen steel and make it corrosion resistant, which is critically important in all aspects of drilling, production, refining, storage and transportation in the oil and gas industry. However, moly prices remain volatile, and with the continued recovery of the petroleum industry, we anticipate the potential for generally higher prices going forward in 2018."
In December 2017, the Baker Hughes worldwide drill rig count increased 18% to 2,089 rigs from year ago levels and jumped 49% from the low point seen in mid-2016. The West Texas Intermediate oil price has risen 69% from $38.10 per barrel at year end 2016 to $64.30 on January 15, 2017, while the NYMEX natural gas price has risen 58% from $2.03 per MMBtu to $3.20 over the same period.
In addition, steel consumption especially for stainless and high strength steels is expected to be driven by global economic expansion. The World Bank projects global economic growth at a solid 3.1% for 2018 after a better than expected 2017 performance. China uses approximately a third of global molybdenum and produces more than one-third of global molybdenum supply. China's continued strong steel fabrication demand led to rising imports of molybdenum concentrate in late 2017, according to CPM.
CPM stated that nearly 63% of molybdenum supply is derived as a by-product mostly from copper miners while the remainder of molybdenum is sourced from primary producers, mostly in China. While total molybdenum mine supply (by-product and primary) increased to 561 million pounds in 2017 from 510 million pounds in 2016, according to CPM, molybdenum by-product production is expected to soften in 2018, notably from Chile.
Anticipating tightening supply of molybdenum in 2018, Catherine Virga, Director of the CPM Group, commented "We believe that the major copper producers are already maximizing their molybdenum by-product production and that increases in by-product molybdenum output in 2018 will be limited. Furthermore, strict environmental controls including inspections and production curtailments are expected to continue in China, hampering growth and putting upward pressure on production costs."
Weekly Summary for January 19, 2018 AM
Two important charts to watch remain the gold-to-S&P500 or AUSP (see "Chart to Watch" below) and gold in terms of major currencies euro and Japanese yen (directly below).
Click on the image for a larger size:
Here's a chart to watch for 2018. Click on the image for a larger size:
Colonel Possum & Mariana