Demand has grown 27% annually
When Carl Wilhelm Scheele discovered element 42 back in 1778, he could scarcely have imagined just how important this silvery-white metal would become one day.
Today, the entire energy complex relies on this metal – for everything from oil pipelines to nuclear reactors. Without this metal, the energy business would grind to a halt. Plus, as society gets all worked up over carbon emissions, element 42 is having a greater role to play here, too. Refineries, for instance, use it to remove the sulfur from gasoline and diesel fuels. It’s also used in desalination plants, which turn saltwater into drinkable water.
Element 42’s main gig is to strengthen steel. It makes steel more resistant to corrosion and extreme heat. As a result, it is incredibly important to just about every infrastructure project you can name and rides the coattails of the great infrastructure build in China, India, and other emerging markets. Globally, the steel industry uses about 85% of element 42 taken out of the ground.
Element 42 is also known as molybdenum, or moly for short. I’ve been a “moly bull” for several years, but a recent development has me even more bullish on this metal: For the first time in years, the Chinese have become net importers of moly.
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