Molybdenum Price Hits Record High

The price of molybdenum, continues to rise and has reached record levels. At the end of January 2023, the market price hit its highest in 17 years: the current price for molybdenum has now exceeded £83,750 a rise of nearly 150% since February of 2021. As molybdenum is a crucial component of grade 316 and 316L stainless steel, the price of these metals has experienced a corresponding rise. 

The word 'molybdenum' is derived from the Green 'molybdos', which means 'lead': this confusing name was given to the element as its ores when first discovered were confused with lead ores. Molybdenum has an extremely high melting point and readily forms strong and stable carbides within alloys. The vast majority (80%) of molybdenum produced around the world is used in the production of steel alloys, with 25% of this amount used to produce stainless steel. 

There are numerous reasons for the current high prices of molybdenum, one of which is the facts that mines around the world have been scaling back production in recent years. In addition, the quality of the molybdenum ores being mined has suffered significant decline. With a predicted shortfall of over 80,000 tonnes in the coming three years, market analysts have estimated that currently available quantities of the element will be unable to meet demand until at least 2025. 

High molybdenum prices mean that the cost of products that utilise the element are also on the increase: this includes the price of grade 316 and 316L stainless steel, which have skyrocketed in recent months. Many producers of stainless steel do not have the required molybdenum to produce these grades and delivery times have thus increased significantly. 

Manufacturers of hydrogen electrolysers are considering using molybdenum in place of rare and costly platinum, which will place further demands on the availability of the versatile element. A study carried out in July 2022 and published in the journal 'Nanoscale Advances' concluded that platinum could be replaced by molybdenum in the near future for use as a catalyst in the production of hydrogen. 

As the price of molybdenum, and the associated price of 316 and 316L stainless steel continues to rise, BS Stainless pledges to continue to supply these materials and components at the most competitive market price. To stay up to date with all of the industry news, along with lots of other updates and special features, please subscribe to the BS Stainless newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also view a variety of informative videos on our YouTube channel

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