CHINA COBALT SNAPSHOT: Metal price dips on limited buying interest; sulfate, tetroxide under pressure
Key data from the Wednesday August 29 pricing session in Shanghai.
- China domestic cobalt metal price dipped during the midweek pricing session to 470,000-500,000 yuan per tonne ($26.94-28.66 per lb China VAT-free), following local producers’ destocking activities.
- Spot trades have been thin with Jinchuan branded cobalt changing hands at 470,000-475,000 yuan per tonne. Offers for imported cobalt metal, such as Chambishi were around 500,000 yuan, but they met muted buying interest from consumers.
- Continuous exports have reduced local supply to some extent, but this was largely offset by weak demand.
- In addition, falling cobalt sulfate and tetroxide prices have weakened general sentiment and put downward pressure on metal prices.
Cobalt sulfate, tetroxide
- Tight cashflow at the end of month has resulted in hesitation among consumers to buy and urgency among producers to sell cargoes.
- Consumers continued to conduct “hand-to-mouth” procurement with uncertainties in the price outlook.
- There is still no sign of demand recovery despite the approaching traditional consumption peak season in cobalt tetroxide due to substitutions and tolling agreements.
“Producers have destocked heavily in the past few weeks, and after traders bought the units, they just delivered to Wuxi Stainless Steel Exchange” – a trader
“Limited cashflows are pressuring the spot cobalt sulfate price. Meanwhile, consumers are uncertain about the price outlook because there are no signs of prices stabilizing” – a consumer
“Consumers are still quite cautious and only purchased a little each time” – a producer