SMM: electric carmaker Tesla has reached an agreement with Swiss cobalt supplier Glencore (Glencore) to purchase 6000 tons of cobalt a year from Tesla's "cobalt-free" battery for four months. It will be used at the Shanghai plant and the planned Berlin plant. At the same time, Volkswagen and other enterprises also through external battery manufacturers to ensure the supply of cobalt.
Caitong Securities concluded that Tesla's purchase of cobalt from Glencore may be the result of Tesla's attempt at cobalt-free batteries, which proves that cobalt-free batteries cannot be industrialized for the time being. Medium and high-end models still need to be equipped with ternary batteries.
Cobalt-free batteries have always been the biggest factor in suppressing the cobalt plate. Everbright Securities analyzed the news that Tesla and Glencore had signed a long-term agreement to supply, believing that Tesla's purchase of cobalt dispelled market anxiety about the demand impact of "cobalt-free". On the other hand, Tesla's long-term agreement to lock in supply also helps to improve the short-term supply and demand pattern.
Citic Securities Research report said that Tesla's purchase of cobalt raw materials from Glencore has a significant upward effect on the valuation of the cobalt plate, and is optimistic about the valuation repair and rebound of the cobalt plate.
Tesla currently contains 6% cobalt in battery materials, and the amount of cobalt used for bicycles is as low as 3kg. With the completion of the second phase of Tesla's Shanghai plant and Berlin plant, Citic Securities expects Tesla's global electric car sales to grow to 1.55 million by 2023, corresponding to cobalt consumption of 6000 tons, nearly three times the level of cobalt used in 2019.
Tesla's fast-growing demand for cobalt has made it pay more attention to the security of its cobalt supply chain. Combined with the historical price trend, the equilibrium price of long-term cobalt is expected to be US $18 / lb, corresponding to the domestic price of 28-350000 yuan / ton. Companies that own mining resources and build an integrated industrial chain will benefit in the future.
Global cobalt resources are scarce. According to USGS data, global cobalt reserves are only about 7 million tons, and 52% are distributed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in Africa. From the perspective of price, it is precisely because of the scarcity of resources, concentrated regional distribution, many influencing factors, large fluctuations in the price of cobalt, and high overall price, which is disadvantageous to the control of power battery cost.
Li Chao, an analyst at Citic Securities, believes that the cooperation between Tesla and Glencore reflects the change in the mode of penetration procurement in the cobalt industry, which makes the profit distribution of the cobalt industry chain more concentrated in the head and tail. Companies that own mining resources and build an integrated industrial chain will benefit in the future. Luoyang molybdenum industry and Hanrui cobalt industry are recommended, and Huayou cobalt industry and Shengtun mining industry are recommended.
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