Cobalt contract market bullish despite softening spot prices [UPDATE]

A recent downturn in the spot price for cobalt was not causing alarm among sellers because they were still seeing plenty of demand from customers with long-term contracts, sources have told Fastmarkets.

Fastmarkets’ latest price assessment for cobalt, standard grade, in-whs Rotterdam, was $20.50-22.00 per lb on Monday April 26. This compared with $15.40-16.00 per lb a year earlier.
Prices have risen rapidly from $15.30-15.90 per lb at the beginning of 2021 to $25.30-25.80 per lb on March 9, the highest since January 2019.
Since that peak, however, the Chinese appetite for imported metal has significantly cooled and the price has slipped.
But although prices have gone down, several market sources believed that the market fundamentals were unchanged, and that metal units were in strong hands, while the outlook for demand remained bright.
This has led to a bullishness toward existing contracts, despite softer spot pricing.

“There has been a significant call-off of contracted volumes and demand for formula tonnage, and that has been really dramatic, directly related to the traditional automotive industry,” one...

Published

Michael Greenfield

April 28, 2021

13:40 GMT

London