Chinese cobalt sulfate price captive to weak demand; metal price tracks futures price lower

Spot demand for cobalt sulfate in China following the Labor Day holiday (May 1-4) has been weak, with consumers continuing to conduct “hand-to-mouth” procurement, Fastmarkets learned during the latest pricing session.

Fastmarkets assessed the cobalt sulfate Co 20.5% min, ex-works China price at 50,000-52,000 yuan ($7,378-7,673) per tonne on Wednesday May 8, down 1% from 50,000-53,000 yuan per tonne on May 1, prior to the holiday. Thin inquiries and aggressive bids have forced producers to lower their offer prices in a market where consumers have adequate supply of the battery raw material. “Cobalt sulfate inventories are quite high,” a producer said, describing current sulfate spot supply. China’s newest electric vehicle (EV) subsidy policy has been the largest negative driver for the short-to-medium consumption outlook. China’s EV subsidies, which started in 2010, are adjusted annually. However, in recent years the focus has been on supporting...


Susan Zou

May 09, 2019

10:56 GMT