COBALT INSTITUTE CONF 2021: Key questions ahead of the virtual conference

After a Covid-inflicted year out, the Cobalt Institute's annual conference is running its event virtually in 2021. While the usual sideline chatter will be largely absent, there are plenty of topics up for discussion, as Fastmarkets reporters outline here.

Will Chinese buyers return to the market?
The year started with a strong rally on metal which led to two-year price highs; driven by demand from China’s surging downstream electric vehicle (EV) market amid tightness for cobalt hydroxide.
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for cobalt standard grade, in-whs Rotterdam stands at $19.80-20.15 per lb as of Monday May 17. The benchmark price is down by 21.8% from a two-year high of $25.30-25.80 per lb on March 10. Prices across the cobalt complex have ticked down in the absence of Chinese consumers looking for, primarily, briquettes amid the hydroxide tightness.
The market is eyeing whether Chinese consumers will come back to the metal market in any significant way because of the significant impact their buying activities have had on pricing since the start of the year.

Sellers have touted a return of Chinese buyers to the...


Susan Zou

Carrie Shi

Michael Greenfield

May 18, 2021

12:00 GMT

London, Shanghai, Beijing