Katanga sales suspension helps lift 2019 cobalt gloom

News that Glencore’s Katanga Mining will suspend exports and sales of cobalt from Kamoto in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has lent some optimism to 2019 contract negotiations taking place this week at an industry event in Xiamen, China.

Sales and exports of material from the DRC mine were halted after it was found that uranium levels in hydroxide produced at Katanga exceeded the limit for export through the main African ports. “It doesn’t mean the market’s going to turn around but it helps the sentiment for next year a bit - the idea that it could be a bit tighter [than expected],” a distributor source told Fastmarkets on the sidelines of a a nickel and cobalt conference in Xiamen. An anticipated oversupply of cobalt hydroxide has so far dominated contract discussions for 2019, with percentage payables against the metal price being discussed in the 60s and low 70s, down from 80% and above last year. “[The announcement] comes at the right time and puts a bit of a squeeze on,” a trader...


Charlotte Radford

Susan Zou

November 07, 2018

18:00 GMT