Cobalt has been used as a significant material in the manufacturing of Lithium-ion batteries. However, with the rising pressure in the extraction of cobalt, the market has been facing quite some challenges in the last few years. The price of cobalt is rising owing to the fact that the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is one of the leading regions in terms of the mining of cobalt, has increased taxes, which ultimately increases the price of cobalt and also makes it difficult for several developing regions to import it.
Moreover, the London Metal Exchange (LME) fixes the price of cobalt and as the export taxes have taken a sudden blow, the LME has also increased the prices of cobalt globally.
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- PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel
- Freeport Cobalt Oy
- Nicomet Industries Limited
- Huayou Cobalt Co., Ltd.
- Nantong Xinwei Nickel & Cobalt Hightech Development Co., Ltd.
- ALT Cobalt & Nickel Products (Dalian) C o., Ltd.
- Jiayuan Cobalt Holdings Limited
- INCASA SA
- Cangzhou Tengyuan Cobalt Industry Co., Ltd.
- Zhangjiagang Huayi Chemical Co., Ltd.
China emerges as market leader both in production and consumption
China is the leading consumer of cobalt sulfate at present and it is expected that by 2020, China will also be the leading producer of cobalt sulfate. China employs the maximum cobalt sulfate being the leading importer. This high consumption of cobalt sulfate can be attributed to the thriving automotive industry in the region. The development of electric and hybrid vehicles and the use of lithium-ion batteries in vehicles is another core factor that is aiding China to maintain its rule over the global market.
China and Japan are anticipated to hold a noteworthy market share through 2025. Latin America, trailed by North America, is further anticipated to provide justifiable growth opportunities over the course of the forecast period owing to increasing consumption of cobalt sulfate as animal feed. The future growth potential of the market in the MEA will be relatively stable among all the regional markets.
The production of electric vehicles is expected to play a Herculean role in the growth of the China cobalt sulfate market. Electric vehicles accounted for less than 1% of the new vehicle sales in 2016. Nevertheless, over the next decade, sales could surge as technological advances will address two core obstructions to market growth – limited charging capabilities and expensive battery costs.
It has been estimated that electric vehicles could account for about 5%-10% of the total car sales by the end of 2020; and depending on the extent to which they comply with the emission regulations, this share might reach 35%-50% by 2030.
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Latin America to maintain a meagre share but still emerge as a prominent market for vendors
The agriculture sector of Latin America is expected to play a pivotal role in the rising consumption of cobalt sulfate in the region. The agriculture sector has been the mainstay of several countries such as Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina, among others. A core part of the GDP’s contribution comes from the agricultural output. Brazil is amongst the top producers of cereals and crops, oilseeds, etc.
Foreign direct investments in the agricultural sector, such as investments in the Latin American agricultural sector by China, and overseas agricultural investments progressively seek to control production, processing and logistics for merchandises that cannot be supplied domestically. Cobalt sulfate is one of the protuberant feed supplements and is utilized in micro-nutrition and veterinary products. This in turn will spur the demand for cobalt sulfate, which is expected to rise considerably in the near future in the region.
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