14 Jul 2009 10:09

Jinchuan Group hikes electrolytic cobalt ex-works price by $3,658 per ton

Shanghai. July 14. INTERFAX-CHINA - Jinchuan Group Ltd., China's largest nickel and cobalt producer, has raised its ex-works price for electrolytic cobalt grading 99.95 percent or higher by RMB 25,000 ($3,658.61) per ton to RMB 335,000 ($49,025.35) per ton, a company employee told Interfax on July 14.

"We increased our price because domestic spot electrolytic cobalt prices have soared recently," an unnamed employee from Jinchuan Group's sales department told Interfax.

The spot price of electrolytic cobalt grading 99.8 percent or higher on the Shanghai Yangtze River Nonferrous Metals Market stood between RMB 278,000 ($40,683.72) and RMB 288,000 ($42,147.16) per ton on June 5, and soared to between RMB 335,000 ($49,025.35) and RMB 350,000 ($51,220.51) per ton on July 14.

"This can be attributed to rising prices on international markets, as global demand for cobalt has picked up slightly with the tentative recovery of economies worldwide, which has also enticed many speculative investors to stock electrolytic cobalt," Sun Yonggang, an analyst from Beijing Antaike Information, said.

The average spot price of electrolytic cobalt grading 99.8 percent or higher stood between $29,760.75 and $31,965.25 per ton on June 3 on the London Metal Exchange, while the price rose to between $38,027.63 and $40,342.35 per ton on July 14, according to industry information provider Metal Bulletin.

However, Sun added that the direction of domestic spot electrolytic cobalt prices is unclear now, as prices are being mainly supported by speculative funds in international markets, and actual demand has not resumed on such a large scale.

Cobalt is used in the production of X-ray tubes and other specialized products, as well as in the manufacture of many alloys, such as precision alloy, heat-resistant alloy, carbide alloy, welding alloy, and various steel alloys.