Glencore customers back away from cobalt purchase agreements in falling market

Glencore has flagged customer non-performance on some of its cobalt sales in the second half of the year – a time when hydroxide supplies have ramped up and realized prices for metal, sulfate and intermediates have fallen.

“We’ve seen some customer contractual non-performance in a weaker H2 pricing market for cobalt, which has fallen from obviously quite high levels in the first half [and has] come off at least 20-30%,” the Baar, Switzerland-based miner-trader’s chief financial officer Steven Kalmin said during an investor call on Monday December 3. Low-grade cobalt prices, assessed by Fastmarkets and used as a benchmark across the supply chain, settled at $30.30-32 per lb, in-warehouse on December 7, down 30% compared with near ten year highs seen in April this year. But international metal prices have proved relatively resilient in comparison to sulfate and intermediates prices in China, which have suffered from increased supplies, squeezed margins and limited availability of...

Published

Charlotte Radford

December 12, 2018

07:10 GMT

London