FOCUS: Why is the cobalt sulfate price downturn capped in China?

Cobalt sulfate prices have managed to take a pause from the persistent downturn since mid-February despite lingering weak demand from electric vehicles (EVs), the major downstream consumer, Fastmarkets understands.

Fastmarkets’ cobalt sulfate 20.5% Co basis, exw China price was assessed at 43,000-45,000 yuan ($6,074-6,357) per tonne on Friday 24, unchanged for the fifth pricing session in a row.
Prior to the range’s stabilization, the battery raw materials price had been under pressure since late February on dampened demand amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Global cobalt consumption has deteriorated, with the effects of the virus outbreak hitting automakers hard amid extensive production suspensions and a plunge in EV sales.
The output and sales of EVs in China tumbled by 60.2% and 56.4% respectively year on year in the first quarter of 2020, while European EV development was forced to slow after several automakers suspended production to curb the spread of the virus.

The average operational rate at nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) precursor material plants - a direct consumer of cobalt sulfate -...


Susan Zou

April 27, 2020

14:38 GMT