PRN: CRU: Cobalt Shifts From Metal to Chemical Market

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CRU: Cobalt Shifts From Metal to Chemical Market


LONDON, September 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

Cobalt demand is expected to exceed 100kt this year, and CRU forecasts total demand of cobalt materials to increase at a CAGR of 11.6% over the next ten years. Alongside this large increase in demand, CRU also expects changes to the way refined cobalt is traded and produced. This is primarily due to a shift in cobalt demand from metallic products to chemical products.

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The cobalt market has two main categories
Metallic cobalt is used for the manufacture of high-temperature superalloys, stainless steels, medical prosthetics, hard-facing products and other niche applications. It is normally sold in the form of 99.8% and 99.3% purity cobalt ingot or cut cathode on the LME, or priced according to price discovery from a wide range of sources.

Cobalt chemicals have many applications, but their most prominent use is in the manufacture of Li-ion batteries. Other key uses include the manufacture of catalysts, pigments, polymers and tyres. The most widely used cobalt chemicals are cobalt oxide, cobalt sulphate and cobalt acetate, as well as other more niche compounds for rarer applications.

How is this likely to change in the future?
Cobalt metal has historically been the largest traded segment of cobalt products due to its application in aerospace and performance steels. However, in the past ten years cobalt chemicals have eclipsed cobalt metal in terms of total demand, primarily due to the standardisation of Li-ion batteries across consumer electronics - most notably in the market for electric vehicles. In 2009, refined chemicals comprised 55% of total cobalt demand, with cobalt metal making up the rest. In 2017, CRU estimates that they will comprise 63% of the market, and this is expected to steadily increase to over two thirds of the market by 2026.

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About CRU
CRU offers unrivalled business intelligence on the global metals, mining and fertilizer industries through market analysis, price assessments, consultancy and events.

Since our foundation in 1969, we have consistently invested in primary research and robust methodologies, and developed expert teams in key locations worldwide, including in hard-to-reach markets such as China. CRU employs over 250 experts and has more than 10 offices around the world, in Europe, the Americas, China, Asia and Australia - our office in Beijing opened in 2004.

When facing critical business decisions, you can rely on this first-hand knowledge to give you a complete view on a commodity market. And you can engage with our experts directly, for the full picture and a personalised response.

CRU - big enough to deliver a high quality service, small enough to care about all of our customers.

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