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Non-ferrous metal:Cobalt a beneficiary as supply tightens am

作者:ihpa.net 发布时间:2018-02-13

Strong case for cobalt pricesstrengthening.Against the backdrop of a broad-based output reductionat large international cobalt producers togetherwith robust demands from such booming sectors as 3C and EV, a cobalt supply shortageof upwards of1,000 tons wouldlikely emerge in 2018 and keep widening going forward. This, compounded by some bigcommodities traders like Glencorebeginning to charge a fixed processing feeofUSD3.55-4 per pound, wouldforce domestic cobalt suppliers to hike prices amid rising costs and depleting low-priced stock, in our view.

    Cobalt supply challenges here to stay.Looking ahead, we believe cobalt supply buildupwill be stymiedby the following factors: (1) there is a rising call to stop the use of child labor in cobalt mining, which wouldcreate a drag on cobalt output; (2) the rainy season in Congo and softening nickel prices in Canada and Australia countering a more than 110% surge in MB cobalt prices in 2017have held back leading cobalt producers, resulting in uncertainty setto hang over cobalt production in 2018; and (3)a vast majority of capacity resumption or addition projects won’t commence until after 2018.

    Brisk demand for cobalt.New policies concerning the energy density of EV batteries have provided strong tailwinds for ternarybatteries, which in turn encourage domestic ternary cathode material producersto ramp up capacity. Thiswillinevitablyfeed through tohigherdemand for cobalt, an indispensable component of nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM), a mainstream ternary cathode material in China.Globally, also taking into accountsolid growth in 3C, one of the most in-demand sectors for cobalt, we project overall cobalt demand to reach 136,000 tons by 2020, growing at around 9%annually.

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