SMM, 11 May:
SMM believes that cobalt sulfate prices may recover slightly in the short term, but will not last long, and prices will remain under pressure at a later stage.
At present, the mainstream price of cobalt sulfate market in China is 4.4-47000 yuan / ton, which is stable compared with the previous working day. Ternary materials and precursor manufacturers counter-offer cobalt sulfate due to downstream pressure, but cobalt sulfate manufacturers are strong prices, especially the recovery of electrolytic cobalt market prices more stimulate the mood of suppliers.
It is understood that at present, the operating rate of domestic small cobalt sulfate producers is very low, the product circulation in the market is not much, the average operating rate of large and medium-sized producers is maintained at about 50%. The operating rates of cobalt sulfate manufacturers and ternary precursor manufacturers are going down at the same time, and the overall operating rate of the two product markets is less than 40%. The price of electrolytic cobalt has rebounded to 23.0-245000 yuan / ton, and it is difficult to purchase cobalt raw materials. The average price of cobalt sulfate is only about 220000 yuan / ton. Considering that large cobalt sulfate plants hold more stocks of products and raw materials in the market and have relatively strong bargaining power, SMM expects that the price of cobalt sulfate may rise by 500 yuan / ton in the short term.
Despite the lifting of the ban on South African ports, cobalt ore shipments are mostly scheduled after mid-May, and suppliers of short-term mismatches of raw materials want to raise prices. However, as overseas electrolytic cobalt prices fell and remained under pressure, crude cobalt hydroxide prices fell $0.2 / lb from last week to $9.6-$10.2 / lb. Domestic ternary precursor downstream orders have no signs of significant growth, weak demand is difficult to continue to support the price recovery, SMM believes that cobalt sulfate prices have a short-term correction, but the overall price remained low in May.