“[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...