Benchmark cobalt prices rebounded firmly in August amid expectations of looming tightness from the closure of Mutanda, which encouraged trader restocking, and on a smaller scale consumer buying.
Of note is that cobalt prices and payables had already started to move up at the beginning of the month, ahead of the Mutanda announcement. Consumer interest recovered with prices nearing the $12-per-lb level in late July, and the trade was keeping an eye on Chinese market activity, where cobalt metal and salts pricing along with downstream sentiment had begun to recover in July amid a more speculative appetite.
While some had acknowledged that early momentum might not be supported for the duration of August, it was subsequently more than underpinned by the news of Mutanda’s impending closure.
But despite leading the way on a recovery in July, Chinese cobalt metal and salts prices were the first to stall in the upward rally.
A wide gap between...