In March 2020, China's cobalt sulfate production was 3500 tons of metal tons, an increase of 94 percent over the previous month and a decrease of 10 percent from the same period last year. The cumulative output from January to March was 8400 tons of metal tons, down 26 per cent from the same period last year.
According to SMM research, in March, the operating rate of cobalt salt plants basically returned to 7-8%. Affected by the epidemic, downstream demand was low, and some large plants did not return to the normal operating level. Orders for cobalt sulfate increased in a small number of cobalt salt plants in March, and some of the production lines switched from cobalt chloride to cobalt sulfate. The price difference between electrolytic cobalt and cobalt sulfate metal was alleviated in March, and the overall supply of the market increased, but the demand side was more affected by the epidemic, and the pressure of cobalt sulfate inventory continued to increase.
SMM expects the supply of cobalt sulfate in China to increase slightly in April 2020, to about 3700 tons of metal tons, an increase of 6 per cent over the previous month and a decrease of 14.5 per cent from the same period last year. A major cobalt salt plant was seriously affected by the epidemic situation in March and started relatively late. The cobalt salt supply returned to normal in April, and the pressure of cobalt sulfate inventory continued to increase.