SHANGHAI, Dec 16 (SMM) – As of December 13, Zhejiang province had confirmed 45 new COVID-19 cases. Prior to this, the cities and counties in Zhejiang gradually strengthened prevention and control management measures. A ternary cathode material and precursor company and two cobalt salt companies in Zhejiang suspended the production on December 10.
The former company produced 300-400 mt of ternary cathode materials in November, accounting for about 1% of the total ternary cathode material in China, and its output of ternary cathode material precursors was 1,000-1200 mt, accounting for 2% of the total output in China.
The production of ternary cathode material was less affected by the pandemic in Zhejiang as there were not many leading ternary cathode material enterprises.
The two cobalt salt enterprises produced a total of about 700 mt of cobalt sulphate in November, accounting for about 12% of the total monthly output in China; The output of cobalt chloride of the two enterprises totalled 600 mt in November, taking up 14% of the national output.
Since the two cobalt salt enterprises suspended the production, China’s output of cobalt sulphate is expected to drop by 8% to 5,247 mt in metal content, and the output of cobalt chloride may drop 11% to 3,773 mt in metal content.
The prices of cobalt salt increased significantly amid strong bullish sentiments this week. As of the morning of the 14th, the quotations for cobalt sulphate rose 100,000-105,000 yuan/mt, and the quotations of cobalt chloride were lifted to to 120,000-125,000 yuan/mt.
According to SMM calculations, the supply of cobalt salt would be in a narrow surplus of 62 mt in metal content, and the cobalt salt inventory may drop by about 600 mt in metal content in December.
The rising overseas cobalt prices kept pushing up the costs of cobalt salt manufacturers, and the coefficients of recycled materials stood high as well amid tight supply. The cobalt salt prices are expected to keep rise further slightly with the support of costs and tight supply.
The production resumption time of the above three enterprises are yet to be determined. SMM will continue to track the impact of the pandemic on the lithium battery industry chain in the future.