Cobalt Market Update (February 20, 2013)

Cobalt prices have cooled in recent weeks after an active start to 2013.

Few cobalt alloys saw price appreciation in the week of February 14, data from Metal-Pages shows. The market’s lack of direction was primarily the result of Chinese traders being on holiday.

When full-scale trading resumes, the metal will try to keep its price momentum going. 99.6-percent product is up over 20 percent since the beginning of the year, holding steady this week at $11.75 to $12.50 per pound.

Aerospace-grade 99.8-percent product has also seen gains, up nearly 15 percent in 2013. The price held steady this week in Europe, at $12 to $13 per pound.

Traders interviewed by Metal-Pages are doubtful that strong demand will emerge even with Chinese buyers returning from holidays.

One supplier noted that many Chinese users are only now receiving shipments contracted in December.

Another source noted that downstream demand from the catalyst and magnetic materials markets has weakened of late.