FOCUS: Cobalt metal market slows to weigh impact of increased hydroxide supplies, lower payables

Long-term contracts for cobalt hydroxide supply in 2019 have been heavily weighted toward lower payables year on year, with discussions centered around increasing availability of intermediates.

But the extent of the likely hydroxide surplus’ impact on next year’s metal market is less clear. Since last year’s mating season, Glencore has announced the restart of production at Katanga in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with production expected to reach 34,000 tonnes per year (tpy) in the 2019 financial year. In addition, ERG’s Metalkol Roan Tailings & Reclamation (RTR) project in the Democratic Republic of Congo is due to come on stream at the end of 2018, and is expected to produce 14,000 tpy in 2019. Several sources spoken to by Fastmarkets MB since negotiations began in earnest last month indicated hydroxide payables (as a percentage of the Fastmarkets’ low-grade cobalt price) being discussed in the low 60s to low70s, though discussions are continuing. Payables are expected to be even lower where the provenance of material is unclear. Payables for 2018 were agreed at 80% and above in some cases,...

Published

Charlotte Radford

November 07, 2018

03:20 GMT

Shanghai