Metals: ARGUS cobalt price assessments

Metals: ARGUS cobalt price assessments

The ARGUS cobalt price assessments

Interest in cobalt has increased in the past two years in response to rising demand from the battery materials sector and concerns surrounding security of supply.

But as the use of cobalt has grown and developed in recent years, many market participants have expressed a need for a wider variety of prices — including for chemicals used specifically in battery production, such as cobalt sulphate.

Argus offers a range of global cobalt price assessments, most of which are published twice weekly to adequately reflect price changes and liquidity. These are:

  • Cobalt metal, 99.8%, alloy grade, du Rotterdam
  • Cobalt metal, 99.8%, chemical grade, du Rotterdam
  • Cobalt metal, 99.8%, fob US warehouse
  • Cobalt metal, 99.8%, ex-works China
  • Cobalt chloride, 24%, ex-works China
  • Cobalt oxide, 72%, ex-works China
  • Cobalt tetroxide, 73%, ex-works China
  • Cobalt sulphate, 20%, ex-works China
  • Cobalt powder, 99.8%, ex-works China

Argus cobalt price assessments appear in our flagship daily metals report Argus Non-Ferrous Markets, which includes detailed market commentary and market-relevant news and analysis. Argus publishes US minor metals prices weekly on Tuesday, with Europe, India and China prices published biweekly, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Advantages of the ARGUS cobalt price assessments

With such a diverse range of products assessed, producers and consumers have a number of options at their disposal for reference and indexation.

The growth of China’s downstream production base for a variety of products that use cobalt — from pigments to batteries — has in turn increased liquidity on the domestic market for cobalt chemicals. Argus has been assessing a number of these prices for almost 10 years, with historical price data available to all Argus Non-Ferrous Markets subscribers through the Argus Metals online platform.

These chemical prices are assessed according to a strict methodology and are assessed separately to our metal prices. This enables producers and consumers to price their products appropriately without utilising a formula dependent on a given metal price.

Furthermore, the separation of European metal prices into chemical and alloy variants creates a more accurate assessment for sellers and buyers of these different grades. Cobalt metal is traditionally a market in which specific brands and types can affect the price considerably. Battery material manufacturers that need to purchase briquettes or broken cathode to produce cobalt chemicals can easily track this price with the dedicated chemical-grade metal price.

Users of the ARGUS cobalt price assessments

Cobalt is used in the production of lithium-ion batteries and is a necessary raw material for electronics manufacturers and electric vehicle producers around the world. Increasing demand for this raw material has lifted cobalt prices, making services such as Argus Non-Ferrous Markets a critical resource for manufacturers that need to protect margins and manage risk in supply chains. Alongside other materials used in battery manufacturing, Argus Non-Ferrous Markets provides a complete picture of electronic metals and rare earths pricing. The Argus Battery Materials offers battery material price assessments as well as short and long-term forecasting for these highly specialised markets.

Cobalt is used as an alloying material in high-temperature applications such as jet engines, gas turbines, high-speed cutting tools and specialty stainless steel alloys, and prices can be analysed alongside other alloying materials as part of the powerful Argus Metals platform. Manufacturers of highly engineered materials and their customers are particularly well-aligned to the extensive and detailed raw material pricing that Argus provides through its suite of products.

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