About 50% of respondents to the poll said cobalt would be most prone to disrupted supply or limited availability as a result of Covid-19; nickel and lithium each received 20% of respondents’ votes, while the remaining 10% went to either graphite or manganese.
Concerns around cobalt supply mainly arise from the industry’s dependence on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - which accounts for about 70% of the world’s cobalt output - and export routes out of Africa for shipment to Asia, Fastmarkets’ minors ores and alloys editor, Asia, Susan Zou said.
“Cobalt is in the spotlight because of the dynamics of its supply. When the lockdown in South Africa started, it cut the route for suppliers to ship out their hydroxide so it’s in focus at the moment,” Zou said.
Payables for cobalt hydroxide, settled as a percentage of the standard-grade metal price, stood at 65-67% on Wednesday...