According to reports that have been dated, it is a fact that the prices of one of the most common lithium battery processor materials, cobalt sulphate, has been on the rise by some good 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 can be said that the Chinese market has been the one that has quite seen the most of the increase in the prices for the metal sulphate with the prices for the cobalt averaging over $13000 per tonne. Looking at the rise in the prices, there has to be a reason to explain this and this is given in a number of versions of the reasons. Below are some of the reasons why you will see this stickiness in the rise of the prices of the cobalt sulphate as a material for the making of lithium battery.
Top of the reasons given for this is the fact that there has as well been a steady increase in the demand for the lithium ion battery cathode. The lithium ion battery manufacturers and their demand for this is the number one reason explaining this surge in the prices. 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 as per the reported forecasts by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, this demand is even projected to increase over the next coming years to hit all-time highs. This is actually an issue that has been in their discussion in their 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 still remained under scrutiny and environmental checks by the authorities in the country, China. 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. It goes without saying that all these installations will definitely come with costs that will in the end be passed by the manufacturers to the end users or the buyers in the tight margin market we operate and live in.
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.