Jinchuan Group is planning to reduce its cobalt metal output by around 16% this year, a company official said.

“The plan is to reduce our cobalt metal output to about 3,200 tonnes this year, from 3,800 tonnes last year,” an official heading Jinchuan’s nickel and cobalt operations told MB on the sidelines of annual conference of the Cobalt Development Institute in Toronto this week.

The official cited relatively lower treatment charges for the decision,and he also mentioned a reduction in Jinchuan’s supply to the overseas market so far this year.

“In the first half, the volume of our exports was only about half of what we exported in the same period last year, as Chinese local prices were better than global prices,” he said.

Jinchuan signed less long-term contracts last year, due to expectations of higher prices for the minor metal.

In China, low availability of imported cobalt metal like Chambishi has left prices for imported cobalt higher than Jinchuan’s level insome cases in recent weeks, a rare scenario that reflects market tightness.

Linda Lin