Domestic cobalt prices fluctuated and fell in May
According to data monitoring from Business Society, as of May 31, the cobalt price was 253100 yuan/ton, a decrease of 4.20% compared to May 1′s cobalt price of 264200 yuan/ton. The international cobalt price has declined, and the demand is not good. In May, the cobalt market stabilized, and the cobalt price fluctuated and fell.
International cobalt prices have significantly declined
From the trend chart of MB cobalt prices, it can be seen that in May, MB cobalt prices continued to decline, but the decline slowed down, and international cobalt prices fluctuated and fell, which was negative for the domestic cobalt market.
From the LME cobalt price trend chart, it can be seen that in May, LME cobalt prices significantly decreased, while international cobalt prices fell, which was negative for the domestic cobalt market and increased downward pressure on the domestic cobalt market.
Lithium salt prices skyrocketed in May
According to the Commodity Market Analysis System of Business Society, on May 31st, the price of lithium carbonate industrial grade was 290000 yuan/ton, an increase of 66.67% compared to May 1st, which was 174000 yuan/ton; On May 31st, the price of lithium carbonate battery grade was 310000 yuan/ton, an increase of 55% compared to the price of 200000 yuan/ton on May 1st. The price of lithium carbonate has skyrocketed, driving the atmosphere of the downstream lithium hydroxide market. The attitude of the industry towards price has increased, and the prices of enterprises have increased, resulting in a significant increase in lithium hydroxide prices. However, from the trend of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide, it can be seen that since late May, the trend of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide has stabilized, and the upward momentum of lithium salts in the future is insufficient.
Lithium cobalt oxide prices surged in May
According to the Commodity Market Analysis System of Business Society, the price of lithium cobalt oxide significantly increased in May. As of May 31, the price of lithium cobalt oxide was 290000 yuan/ton, an increase of 57500 yuan/ton or 23.93% compared to the price of 234000 yuan/ton on May 1. The price of lithium cobalt oxide has skyrocketed, and the support for the rise of the cobalt industry chain has increased. Metal cobalt has some upward support, but the price increase of lithium cobalt oxide has slowed down in the latter half of the year, and the support for the rise of metal cobalt price has weakened.
Poor demand growth
According to data from the China Passenger Transport Association, the wholesale sales of new energy passenger vehicles in April reached 607000 units, a decrease of 1.7% month on month and a year-on-year increase of 115.6%. In April, the retail sales of new energy vehicles in the market reached 527000 units, a decrease of 3.6% month on month and a year-on-year increase of 85.6%. In April, the sales of new energy vehicles decreased month on month. As the main force of demand growth in the cobalt market, the sales of new energy vehicles decreased, indicating that the demand growth in the cobalt market in April was less than expected, and the pressure on cobalt prices to decline increased.
According to data from the China Automobile Association, China’s new energy vehicle exports in April reached 100000 units, an increase of 28.6% month on month and 8.4 times year-on-year. According to data from the China Passenger Transport Association, China exported 91000 new energy passenger vehicles in April, an increase of 1028.5% year-on-year and 29.4% month on month. In April, the export of new energy vehicles surged, providing positive support for the new energy vehicle market. There is still hope for future growth of new energy vehicles, and there is still support for the rising demand in the cobalt market in the future.
According to data released by the General Administration of Customs, in the first quarter, the export of electric vehicles reached 64.75 billion yuan, an increase of 122.3%; The proportion of China’s automobile exports has increased by 5.1%, reaching 43.9%. Driven by multiple factors such as strong demand in foreign electric vehicles and energy storage markets, China’s lithium battery exports in the first quarter reached 109.79 billion yuan, with a growth rate of 94.3%. The surge in exports of electric vehicles and lithium batteries has provided positive support for the domestic cobalt market, but there is still support for the rise of the cobalt market in the future.
Overview and outlook
According to Bai Jiaxin, a data analyst at Business Society, cobalt prices rebounded briefly in May due to the rise in lithium and cobalt salt prices. Additionally, the significant increase in exports of new energy vehicles and lithium batteries has provided significant positive support for the cobalt market, and the downward pressure on the cobalt market has weakened; However, the international cobalt price continues to decline, which is bearish for the domestic cobalt market. In addition, the sales of new energy vehicles in China have decreased, and the demand for cobalt in the market is insufficient. The momentum for cobalt price to continue to rise is insufficient. After a brief rise, cobalt prices quickly decline. As cobalt prices approach the cost line and exports stimulate demand in the cobalt market, the space for cobalt price decline is limited. It is expected that cobalt prices will fluctuate and consolidate in the future.