Molybdenum Market Feels the Heat, Oxide Powder Prices Push Higher

molybdenum oxide powder pictureThe molybdenum market rose Tuesday as the recent rally in which oxide powder prices rose around $2/lb over the course of July left some market participants wondering whether the move higher would be sustainable through the remainder of the summer-holiday period.

The Platts daily dealer molybdenum oxide assessment rose to $12.40-$12.60/lb from $12.30-$12.50/lb previously, while the daily European ferromolybdenum assessment rose to $29.80-$30.20/kg from $29.60-$30.10/kg.

“It feels like a lot of people are spooked by the big move in moly recently. Some are considering profit-taking, some consider taking long positions, some are undecided," an Asian trader said.

“It does feel like there's still momentum there," a European trader said, adding that while a dip in prices was still possible, "if it does last another couple of weeks it'll be too close to new buying for the fourth quarter coming in."

molybdenum oxide powder picture

A second Asian trader said: "I think a bit of profit-taking can happen, but still Chinese concerns over environmental inspections are rising and the upward trend is still intact."

“The Chinese market will decide the international market trend," he added.

The European trader agreed that Asia remains the hub of spot trade for the time being: "The driver is Busan [in South Korea], that's where the bulk of the business is going on."

Market attention will also be focused on the labor dispute at Codelco's Chuquicamata mine in Chile, although no immediate impact on supply is expected, sources said.

Spot offers for oxide powder were reported in the range of $12.50-$12.60/lb, with business reported at $12.55/lb in Busan and possibly up to $12.65/lb elsewhere.


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