China-Europe arbitrage to reverse on soaring international cobalt price, softness in Chinese market

International inquiries for cobalt metal from China picked up quickly over the past week after the premium that the Chinese metal price holds against the European price narrowed sharply on Wednesday August 14.

Fastmarkets assessed the price of cobalt 99.8% Co min, exw China at 270,000-280,000 yuan per tonne ($15.39-15.96 per lb, excluding China value-added tax) on Wednesday, down by 2.1% from 276,000-286,000 yuan per tonne on August 9, the first decrease since beginning an uptrend in mid-July.
On the same day, Fastmarkets’ benchmark cobalt standard grade, in-whs Rotterdam price jumped to $14.65-15.70 per lb, up by 11% compared with last Friday’s assessment of $13.05-14.30 per lb.

If taking both low-end prices into consideration, China’s domestic metal price, minus VAT, was at a premium of $0.71 per lb against the standard-grade European price on Wednesday, narrowing from a premium at $2.67 per lb on August 9 - the largest...


Susan Zou

August 15, 2019

11:38 GMT