Jet Engine Demand Fuels Rise In Cobalt Prices Written 25 May 2018

Reuters reports that a “shrinking supply” of cobalt as well as “robust demand from traditional sectors such as jet engine makers are helping fuel a price rally that shows no signs of fading.” Cobalt is used in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries as well as “superalloys, valued for their resistance to high temperatures and corrosion” in products including such as jet engines. Although cobalt output is falling, prices have reached 10-year highs above $44 per pound due to supply chain disruptions and continued demand. CRU forecasts cobalt production “at 35,500 tonnes this year, but expects 8,000 tonnes of that to be diverted to chemicals, leaving supply at 27,500 tonnes and a deficit of 5,000 tonnes.” Sources in the cobalt industry sources suggest that shortages “have been exacerbated by a lack of good quality superalloy scrap or revert.” The alloys are used by engine manufacturers Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, and the GE-Safran joint venture CFM International.
More Info (Reuters)