Molybdenum Shipment Increases by 30% in Japan 2005

Molybdenum shipment rose by over 30% in Japan, 2005 from 2004 both for powder and processed products, according to Japan Tungsten & Molybdenum Industries Association. Shipment was firm for electronic related use such as digital appliances and for cemented carbide tools. On the other hand, tungsten powder shipment increased slightly and tungsten products decreased by 6% in Japan, 2005 from 2004. Material shift occurred from tungsten to molybdenum due to the soar of the international tungsten price. Shipment of molybdenum powder was 438 tonnes in 2005, which was 333 tonnes in 2004. Shipment of molybdenum products increased by 37.1% to 971 tonnes in 2005, especially shipment jumped from 235 to 523 tonnes for semiconductors including heat sink materials. Shipment of tungsten powder increased slightly to 3,525 tonnes in 2005 from 2004. Shipment of tungsten products decreased by 5.9% to 560 tonnes in 2005, when the shipment decreased by 40% for semiconductors. International spot price of ammonium paratungstate (APT), the intermediate material for tungsten, tripled during the first half of 2005. Molybdenum price also tripled in 2005 compared with 2004. However, molybdenum price peaked out and turned downward in 2005. As a result users seem to shift from tungsten to molybdenum.