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SMM Analysis of China Cobalt Raw Material Imports in June
Jul 22, 2022 10:21CST
Source:SMM
SHANGHAI, Jul 22 (SMM) - According to customs data, China imported 7,000 mt of cobalt raw materials in metal content in June, a month-on-month decrease of 1% and year-on-year drop of 9%.

SHANGHAI, Jul 22 (SMM) - According to customs data, China imported 7,000 mt of cobalt raw materials in metal content in June, a month-on-month decrease of 1% and year-on-year drop of 9%. Imports of cobalt raw materials totalled 45,800 mt in metal content from January to June. 
Imports of cobalt ore were 200 mt in metal content in June (calculated at 8% grade), up 168% month-on-month and 3% year-on-year. Imports of cobalt ore were 943 mt in metal content from January to June, up 79% year-on-year. 
Imports of cobalt hydrometallurgy intermediate products were 6,500 mt in metal content in June (calculated at 27% grade), down 6% month-on-month and 10% year-on-year. Imports of cobalt hydrometallurgy intermediate products totalled 43,100 mt in metal content from January to June, up 3% year-on-year. 
Imports of unwrought cobalt were 216 mt in metal content in June (calculated at 99.8% grade), down 20% month-on-month and 24% year-on-year. Imports of unwrought cobalt totalled 1,800 mt in metal content from January to June, down 61% year-on-year. 
The monthly average import price of cobalt hydrometallurgy intermediate products was $82,200/mt in metal content in June, up 1% month-on-month. The average import price of cobalt hydrometallurgy intermediate products stood at $75,216/mt in metal content from January to June.   
The top three import regions were Zhejiang, Hunan, and Gansu. It is worth noting that Zhejiang recorded a month-on-month increase of 58%, the largest growth among all import regions, while the import volume of other provinces decreased month-on-month, led by decrease of 32% in Jiangsu Province.
Most of the cobalt raw materials imported in June were purchased by smelters. Due to the recent fluctuations in the cobalt salt market, downstream precursor manufacturers are in a wait-and-see mood and focusing on raising the proportion of self-owned cobalt salt. Therefore, it is expected that a significant portion of imported cobalt raw materials in July may have been ordered by precursor plants instead of cobalt salt smelters. Notes: Integrated precursor plants purchase cobalt raw materials to produce cobalt salt on their own. 

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