Cobalt Market/supply Forecast
Market Balance 2021-2030F
- Cobalt use in chemical applications is dominated by the rechargeable batteries segment. Key sectors include Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), Li-ion batteries for other applications (laptops, PCs, smartphones etc.), polyester and tires.
- Approximately 50% of the world's cobalt supply is used in the rechargeable battery industry where cobalt is an important component in lithium-ion batteries with additional uses in nickel metal hydride batteries and nickel cadmium batteries.
- Cobalt use for the metallurgical industry is primarily centered on high temperature alloys. Key sectors include Superalloys (aerospace rotating parts, defense, power generation, thermal sprays, prosthetics etc.), high-speed (HS) steel, carbide, diamond tools and magnets.
Source: Cobalt Institute
Key points of demand:
- According to Roskill Information Services Ltd., cobalt demand is forecast to roughly double by 2030, with battery applications accounting for majority of the overall demand. Demand for Co is estimated to range from 235 to 430 tonnes in 2030.
- Roskill believes the successful commercialization and roll-out of 5G technology can foster new growth potential for cobalt in the portable electronics industry from 2021.
- ’Traditional’ Li-ion battery consisting of around 60% cobalt oxide and 40% lithium predominately used for mobile technology
Cobalt Market Segment Forecast - CAGR (%pa)
Globally, the long term real average cobalt price is around US$25/lb considering growing EV battery demand. This rapid demand growth against a backdrop of concentrated supply, risk in the DRC is a situation unlike any other base metal.
- Significant government sponsored subsidies for achieving zero emission supports post COVID demand of the cobalt market.
- A cobalt market inflection point from 2023F+ is likely unless further demand destruction occurs.
- The growing EV market drives strong demand for cobalt across 2021-2030F
- Lithium-ion batteries with cobalt cathodes apparently will dominate the battery market for at least next decade.
- Cobalt miners, refineries, recyclers and customers will increasingly invest upstream to assure security of supply.