FOCUS: Renewed appetite for cobalt briquettes in China amid tight availability of intermediates

Limited supplies of cobalt hydroxide on the spot market and rising feedstock prices have revived interest in cobalt briquettes among refineries looking to secure near-term supplies of raw materials.

In the week to Friday September 24, several tens of tonnes cobalt briquettes were purchased in the spot market by cobalt salts refineries, after barely any had changed hands in previous weeks, trader sources told Fastmarkets.
Early in the first quarter of this year, the market witnessed a strong appetite for cobalt briquettes as an alternative feedstock in cobalt salts refining, but that interest waned in the second quarter and for most of the third quarter, they added.
“Demand for cobalt briquettes is good. Cobalt salts refineries are buying them as feedstock,” a cobalt trader said, adding that some refineries were willing to pay a premium.
Multiple cobalt salts refineries acknowledged that they had been topping up their inventories with cobalt briquettes, trying to minimize their exposure to unstable supplies of cobalt hydroxide with its price ticking up quickly.

A total of 21,644 tonnes of cobalt intermediates, which mainly consists...

Published

Zihao Li

September 29, 2021

08:08 GMT

Shanghai