In February 2020, China's cobalt sulfate production was 1800 tons of metal tons, down 40 per cent from the previous month and 48 per cent from a year earlier. The cumulative output from January to February was 4800 tons of metal tons, down 34 percent from the same period last year.
Affected by the new crown pneumonia, cobalt salt manufacturers in February the overall operating rate of less than 40%. Hubei, Zhejiang, Jiangxi and other places have a serious epidemic situation, which is the main area where output is declining. By March 9, more than 95% of the cobalt salt plant had been started, and the operating rate had basically returned to about 60%. The price difference between electrolytic cobalt and cobalt sulfate metal began to hang upside down in late February, and the overall supply of the market continued to shrink, but the demand end was more affected by the epidemic, and the pressure on cobalt sulfate inventory continued to increase.
SMM expects China's cobalt sulfate supply to increase in March 2020, to about 0.39 metal tons, an increase of 114% from the previous month and a decrease of 1% from the same period last year. The main department starts to resume gradually, most cobalt salt plants plan to resume normal operation in March, cobalt sulfate inventory pressure is still high.