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[SMM analysis] the import of cobalt raw materials increased slightly in June and the growth rate of raw materials arriving in Hong Kong from July to August may not be as expected.
Jul 27,2020 17:14CST
translation
Source:SMM
In June 2020, China imported 4400 tons of cobalt raw materials, an increase of 17 per cent from the previous month and a decrease of 42 per cent from the same period last year. From January to June 2020, China imported 36800 tons of cobalt raw materials, an increase of 3 percent over the same period last year. According to research, the transport efficiency in Africa is still lower than expected, and there is no sign of improvement. SMM estimates that the domestic cobalt raw materials arriving in Hong Kong in July will be about 6800 tons of metal tons, and in August, the domestic arrival cobalt raw materials will be about 7200 tons of metal tons.
The content below was translated by Tencent automatically for reference.

SMM7 March 27:

China imports Cobalt Raw Materials from August 2018 to August 2020

Source: SMM, China Customs

According to the latest data from the customs website, China's imports of cobalt raw materials totaled 4400 tons of metal tons in June 2020, an increase of 17% from the previous month and a decrease of 42% from the same period last year. From January to June 2020, China imported 36800 tons of cobalt raw materials, an increase of 3 percent over the same period last year.

Among the imported raw materials, cobalt mines imported 44.8 metal tons (converted at 8% grade) in June 2020, an increase of 5500% month-on-month and a decrease of 82% over the same period last year. From January to June 2020, China's cobalt ore imports totaled 2100 tons of metal tons, down 26 percent from the same period last year. In June 2020, cobalt wet smelting intermediates imported 4100 tons of metal (converted at 27% grade), an increase of 25% from the previous month and a decrease of 42% from the same period last year. From January to June 2020, China's imports of intermediate products from cobalt hydrometallurgy totaled 33000 tons, an increase of 2 percent over the same period last year.

In terms of price, in June 2020, the average import price of cobalt wet smelting intermediates was US $24154 per metal ton, down 12% from the previous month and up 24% from the same period last year. From January to June 2020, the average import price of intermediate products for cobalt hydrometallurgy in China was US $25914 per metal ton, down 13% from the same period last year.

After the lifting of the ban on port closure in South Africa, the shipping date was delayed, and ships were not issued until about mid-May at the earliest. The number of raw materials arriving in Hong Kong decreased in June, which is only about half of the monthly consumption of cobalt in China. In the first half of this year, domestic imports of cobalt raw materials increased slightly by 3% compared with the same period last year, mainly from March to April, with imports exceeding 8000 metal tons. Although the import of cobalt raw materials increased slightly in the first half of the year compared with the same period last year, according to the accumulated primary balance of cobalt raw materials since 2018, domestic cobalt raw materials are still tight.

Under the influence of the epidemic in the first half of the year, the demand side at home and abroad had a greater impact, especially the resumption of operation of new energy vehicles and power battery plants was less than expected. However, the demand of 3C consumers in the main downstream of cobalt metal is less affected, which is mainly driven by the demand for 5G replacement, online courses and wearable devices.

According to research, Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Zambia, South Africa and other important countries in the supply or transport of cobalt raw materials, the current epidemic control situation is still not optimistic. At present, the isolation measures in the mining area are relatively strict, and the probability of large-scale infectious outbreak is low. However, the transport efficiency is still lower than expected, and there is no sign of improvement, land transport will still be delayed for 7-10 days, and the port capacity will not be alleviated. SMM estimates that the domestic cobalt raw materials arriving in Hong Kong will be about 6800 tons of metal tons in July and 7200 tons in August, and the improvement in the supply of cobalt raw materials will not be as good as expected.

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