Consumption lull, semi-conductor chips shortage cloud cobalt, lithium prices

Downstream appetites from lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) battery manufacturers weakened in the second quarter during the traditionally weak consumption season for consumer electronics - a key consumer of LCO batteries and an industry battling with a shortage of semi-conductor chips, sources said.

Some cobalt-tetroxide producers told Fastmarkets their customers have cut orders and that demand for LCO cathode materials might fall by around 30-40% during the usual second-quarter consumption lull, compared with other periods of the year.
The global shortage of semi-conductor chips, which has also stalled traditional automotive manufacturing, is similarly contributing to the thin buying appetite for LCO batteries, Fastmarkets heard.

On March 17, electronics manufacturing giant Samsung warned of a “serious imbalance” in the semi-conductor industry...


Susan Zou

Carrie Shi

May 13, 2021

13:00 GMT

Beijing, Shanghai