COBALT SNAPSHOT: Standard grade moves higher; alloy underpinned

Key data from the March 9 pricing session in London

Cobalt snapshot

Key drivers

  • The price for standard-grade cobalt increases on the top end of the range; sellers hold firm with offers and are in little rush to drop them for low-volume inquiries.
  • The alloy-grade price holds firm, with several sellers citing market tightness on good demand being reported in the aerospace, medical implant and other downstream markets.

Key quotes:
“It’s the beginning of the month so we’re not looking for metal. It’s calm at the moment, both on metal and intermediates. Our sales in January were good and February was fine, but it’s slowing down amid the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. It seems that if customers are not booking volumes then suppliers may drop prices but they’re not in a huge rush” – trader 1

“We are working on a few things and offering within range. Sentiment seems steady and there are some inquiries. Alloy grade is tight because the Chinese can’t export at the moment [since the outbreak of coronavirus] and, generally, there’s robust support for pricing since the Mutanda shutdown – trader 2