Industrial Mineral Intelligence-The Prices of Cobalt Sulphate
Looking at the reports as we have had from some of the dated reports on some of the most common lithium battery processors, cobalt sulphate in particular, we see that there has been a surge in the prices by some significant percentages over the recent past. The prices for cobalt sulphate, as have as well been followed by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, have been rising over the past years. One of the reasons that has been seen to explain this is the fact that there has as well been an increase in the demand for the lithium ion battery on the industrial sector. It is in the Chinese market that we have seen such a significant increase in the prices of the cobalt sulphate with the prices averaging way over $13000 for every tonne of the material. And talking of the price increases, of course there will be reasons for this and these are as well quite varied. Take a look at some of the reasons that have basically served to explain the stickiness of the prices of cobalt sulphate as a processor material for the making of lithium based ion batteries.
First and foremost, one of the reasons is the fact that there has been a steady increase in the demand for the Lithium ion battery cathode. One of the reasons that has seen this increase has been the increase in the demand for this product by the manufacturers for the lithium ion battery cathode which effectively has translated to explain the rise in the prices for the product. As a matter of fact, the largest share of the market and demand for cobalt sulphate is actually taken by the demand for this by the lithium ion battery manufacturing sector. And forecasts by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence indicate that this demand is even going to increase over time. And as a matter of fact, just to stress the significance, this is a subject that has been in the list of issues and topics for discussion in their past inaugural conferences.
The other reason that has been seen to explain the rise in the prices of the sulphate has been that of the fact that the refining capacity has been restricted by environmental limitations. Most of the refiners in China have quite been under some thorough scrutiny and subject to a raft of environmental checks from the Chinese authorities. In a number of the cases, these requirements have seen a raft of measures brought in and these have all been such as to ensure that the effects and emissions of the manufacturing process do not cause much harm to the environment. As a matter of fact, all these necessary installations will come with costs that the manufacturers will have passed over to the consumers in the all-too tight economy.
One more reason why this has been, the rise in the prices of the commodity, cobalt sulphate, has been the ending of the lower cost cobalt in the supply chain.