Cobalt

Cobalt futures were hovering around the $75,000 per tonne level in June, not far from a four-year peak of 82,000 touched last month amid continued strong demand from the electric vehicle sector. Cobalt, a key element in lithium-ion batteries, benefits from robust growth in rechargeable batteries and energy storage due to the impressive demand for electric vehicles. Adding to the bullish outlook were mounting sanctions on Russia, which account for roughly 4% of the world’s cobalt production, for invading Ukraine. On the flip side, soaring cobalt prices triggered a round of new international investment projects. The latest big miner to announce a return to production was Zambia Mopani Copper Mine, which plans to resume cobalt production halted more than a decade ago. Once output picked up, excess inventory would hit the global markets and pose a significant downside to prices in the longer run. Historically, Cobalt reached an all time high of 95250 in March of 2018. Cobalt is a hard, lustrous, grey metal with a high melting point (1493°C). Cobalt is used mainly in the production of chemicals (58 percent), superalloys for gas turbine blades and jet aircraft engines, special steel, carbides, diamond tools, and magnets. By far, the biggest producer of cobalt is DR Congo (more than 50%) followed by Russia (4%), Australia, the Philippines, and Cuba. Cobalt futures are available for trading on The London Metal Exchange (LME). The standard contact has a size of 1 tonne. Futures contracts for Cobalt are financial instruments that allow producers, large consumers, and speculators, to offset or assume the risk of a price change of holding a quantity of Cobalt over time. Prices for Cobalt displayed in Trading Economics are based on over-the-counter (OTC) and contract for difference (CFD) financial instruments.

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