Trafigura moves into cobalt concs, signs deals in DRC

Trading company Trafigura has moved into the cobalt concentrates market by signing deals with producers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and offering material to consumers in China and Europe, market sources said

“[It is] in the cobalt market. [It] cannot hide that,” one industry source in Africa said. The range of deals has prompted traders to ask what competition Trafigura – a commodities trader in the same league as Glencore International – poses to its larger rival. Trafigura has signed an agreement with the George Forrest Group to take a substantial portion — perhaps as much as half — of the concentrates from its Luiswishi operations, which have the capacity to produce 3,000-4,000 tpy of cobalt contained, market sources said. “Any inroads Trafigura makes is sure to be painful to Glencore, because every deal they don’t get, they lose a bit of insight, a bit of info,” one cobalt trader said. But he acknowledged that Glencore’s contracts with Katanga Mining and others in the DRC mean Trafigura has much ground...


January 08, 2010

10:12 GMT