After a consultation period, Metal Bulletin has launched an all-in price assessment for Chinese cobalt sulfate on a yuan per tonne basis in addition to its existing price assessment for cobalt sulfate, 20.5% min Co, ex-works China, published as a $ per lb adjustment to the low end of Metal Bulletin’s benchmark low-grade cobalt price assessment, to provide greater value to market participants.

In summary, Metal Bulletin will publish two price assessments for Chinese cobalt sulfate, namely:

The specifications, delivery terms and publication timing of the all-in China cobalt sulfate price assessment are as follows:

Description: China cobalt sulfate, Co 20.5% min, ex-works, yuan/tonne
Type: assessed range
Currency/unit: yuan per tonne
Quality/shape: crystal; feed from cobalt ores & concentrates, cobalt intermediates, such as crude cobalt hydroxide (materials produced from cobalt scrap are excluded) 
Chemical specification: Co: 20.5% min, Ni: 0.001% max, Cu: 0.001% max, Fe: 0.001% max, Zn: 0.001% max
Minimum Lot size: one tonne
Payment terms: on bank acceptance (other payments normalized)
Delivery window: within 30 days
Publication: twice a week on Wednesday and Friday, between 2pm and 3pm London time

The specification, delivery terms and publication timing of the existing China cobalt sulfate assessment, published as an adjustment to low end of Metal Bulletin low-grade cobalt price, at 20.5% Co basis will be unchanged.

Metal Bulletin has no financial interest in the level or direction of this assessment.

Metal Bulletin has been tracking this market internally for several months; historical price data dating back to March 21, 2018, will be available shortly in the Metal Bulletin price book.

In addition, while Metal Bulletin has noted the availability of cobalt sulfate produced from cobalt scrap in the Chinese spot market, given such material typically carries a certain discount to more mainstream units produced from cobalt concentrate and intermediates, Metal Bulletin will not take any trades, offers, bids or assessments of cobalt sulfate produced from cobalt scrap into consideration for its final price assessment.

Should cobalt sulfate produced from cobalt scrap continue to penetrate the market, Metal Bulletin will seek market consultation on the inclusion of such material.

In the context of growing scrutiny around the cobalt supply chain, please note that Metal Bulletin and Euromoney plc are committed to the Modern Slavery Act.

If you have any queries or feedback concerning the proposal detailed above, or would like to contribute to the price discovery process, please contact Susan Zou or Charlotte Radford by email at: pricing@metalbulletin.com. Please add the subject heading 'FAO: Susan Zou/Charlotte Radford, re: China cobalt sulfate price assessment.'

To see all Metal Bulletin’s pricing methodology and specification documents go to https://www.metalbulletin.com/prices/pricing-methodology.html.

[This article was first published on July 24, 2018, and was updated on August 15 with additional information for quality and shape in the price specification]