Cobalt Prices 2015

What was the price of cobalt in 2015?

Pure (99.9 %) cobalt chips, electrolytically refined, as well as a high purity (99.8 % = 2N8) 1 cm3 cobalt cube for comparison.
Alchemist-hp/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons 3.0

With growing demand from the battery industry and uncertainty over access to cobalt ores from Africa, many expected the cobalt market to be in tight supply in 2015. Instead, slowing consumption and increased output resulted in slumping cobalt prices.

The first half of the year saw prices for cobalt contracts on the London Metal Exchange (LME) remain fairly steady at between US$ 31,000 and US$ 27,000 per metric tonne.

However, financial pressures on Chinese refiners - who account for nearly half of all refined cobalt production - resulted in prices plummeting by 15 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 to end the year under US$ 24,000 per tonne. 

Total global output of refined cobalt is estimated to have increased by about ten percent over 2014 to about 100,000 metric tonnes. 

The LME began offering cobalt contracts in 2010. Cobalt prices listed below are based on the monthly average of the LME's daily cash buyer contract prices.

LME Cobalt Physical Specifications:

  • Lot size: 1 tonne (2% either more or less) of minimum 99.3% cobalt
  • Deliverable in cathodes (broken or cut), ingots, briquettes or rounds in 100kg - 500kg drums of uniform size and weight
  • Delivery by brand

All LME prices are reported in US Dollars per metric tonne.

Cobalt Prices 2015

YearMonthAverage Nickel Contract Price
2015January$30,389.05
February$28,933.75
March$27,440.91
April$28,568.00
May$30.042.11
June$30,546.59
July$31,119.35
August$29,054.75
September$27,522.73
October$27,557.73
November$24,269.05
December$23,820.95

Source: LME Free Data Service

Follow Terence on Google+