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Falling Molybdenum Production; Chinese Exports Limits: Record Price?

Commodities / Molybdenum Jun 27, 2007 - 03:10 PM GMT

By: James_Finch

Commodities

Our sources in Asia confirmed an industry trade report pre-announcing China would slash export quotas on molybdenum products by approximately 50 percent. The quotas are expected take effect next week.

Many were bracing for a 30-percent reduction in molybdenum exports.


Many stainless steel mills go through summer maintenance programs during this period.

After Labor Day, the molybdenum price could quickly rush past the June 2005 record price. This could result in a frenzied market through mid spring 2008, as we anticipate traders to compensate for depleted molybdenum inventories in the face of firm demand for ferromolybdenum and moly oxide products.

The China announcement could provide the trigger for a spectacular run.

In a March 2007 interview with Thompson Creek executive chairman Ian McDonald, his biggest concern was China's capability of dumping a large quantity of molybdenum product into the market and driving the molybdenum price lower. (http://stockinterview.com/News/03272007/Blue-Pearl-Molybdenum-Supply-Tight.html

It now appears that concerns of Chinese dumping are unwarranted.

In previous interviews with Adanac Molybdenum Corp executive chairman Larry Reaugh, he pointed out that South American and U.S. molybdenum production is unlikely to rise. Reaugh explained that copper producers have mined their higher grade material to capitalize upon the firm molybdenum price. Rio Tinto's Bingham Canyon in Utah has also suffered falling molybdenum production. During the first five months of 2007, molybdenum production fell by nearly 25 percent.

Molybdenum demand has remained strong despite higher pricing.


U.S. Geological Survey molybdenum expert Michael Magyar lamented in an interview we conducted with him in July 2006 that the industry had a long way to go before molybdenum inventories could be rebuilt. http://stockinterview.com/News/07262006/molybdenum-energy.html

For stainless steel manufacturers and other end users, a sustained molybdenum price spike could evolve into a nightmare before year end and into 2008. But for investors in molybdenum producers, near-term producers, and potentially for exploration companies, this could provide the sort of double-digit returns many investors found in uranium mining and exploration companies during late 2005 into early 2007.

 

By James Finch
http://www.stockinterview.com

COPYRIGHT © 2007 by StockInterview, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

James Finch contributes to StockInterview.com and other publications. His recent work, “Investing in China's Energy Crisis,” is now available at http://bookstore.stockinterview.com/CBM-ebook.html

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