Commodity Market Report

Cobalt Market 2021 outlook to 2050

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23 December 2021

Cobalt Market 2021 outlook to 2050

Report summary

2021 has been a breakout year for cobalt demand. After showing resilient growth in 2020 against the backdrop of a pandemic, cobalt demand has continued its growing momentum in 2021. Such strong performance can be largely attributed to the rocketing battery demand, with cobalt use across the spectrum of battery applications rising sharply. After the market rebalanced over the course of 2020, we saw a dramatic shift in market fundamentals driven by continuous supply tightness in feedstocks, metal stock drawdown caused by state stockpiling and a strong demand recovery. These factors together have all combined to fuel the price rally in 2021, with the benchmark metal price rising to a three-year high of over US$33/lb in late December.

Table of contents

  • New price cycles needed in mid-2020s and early 2030s
  • Long-term cobalt price forecast to be consistent with the historical average
  • Cobalt demand set to grow strongly in the next decade
  • Long-term outlook is positive, but substitution risks persist
  • Cobalt supply will remain DRC- and China-centric, but diversification continues
  • Recycling to make material contribution to supply growth from early 2030s
  • Market balance and price drivers
    • Short-term forecast (2022-2024)
    • Medium-term forecast (2025-2029)
    • Long-term forecast (2030-2050)
    • Short term – upside
    • Short term – downside
    • Long term – upside
    • Long term – downside
    • Automotive
    • Portable electronics
    • Energy storage systems (ESS)
    • Power and motive devices
    • Aerospace and defence
    • Power generation
    • Prosthetics and dentistry
    • Cemented carbides
    • High-speed steel (HSS) and diamond tools
  • Magnets
  • Pigments and decolourisers
  • Catalysts
  • Soaps and driers
  • Other niche applications
    • Summary
    • Africa
    • Asia
    • Europe
    • Oceania
    • Americas
  • Smelter production capability
  • Recycling capacity
    • Summary
    • By geography
    • By product type

Tables and charts

This report includes 71 images and tables including:

  • Cobalt market balances and metal price outlook
  • Cobalt demand outlook, by first use
  • Cobalt demand outlook, by end use
  • Supply of cobalt intermediates, by geography
  • Supply of refined cobalt, by geography
  • Global cobalt feedstock production versus demand
  • Market balances for cobalt feedstocks
  • Market balances for refined cobalt and stock levels
  • Market balances for cobalt metal
  • Cobalt market balances and metal price outlook
  • Outlook for cobalt hydroxide payability and underlying metal prices
  • Forecast cobalt demand in rechargeable batteries, by end use
  • Forecast cobalt demand in rechargeable batteries, by battery type
  • Forecast cobalt demand in rechargeable batteries, by product type
  • Forecast cobalt demand in superalloys, by end use
  • Forecast cobalt demand in tool materials, by tool type
  • Forecast cobalt demand in tool materials, by end use
  • Forecast demand of NdFeB magnets, by sector
  • Forecast new wind power installation capacity and NdFeB loadings in wind turbines
  • Forecast production of SmCo magnets, by region
  • Forecast cobalt demand in magnets, by type
  • Forecast global PTA production, by region
  • Forecast global diesel and gasoil supply, by region
  • Forecast cobalt demand in other niche applications
  • Cobalt smelter production, by source
  • Base case cobalt smelter production, by geography
  • African mine capability, by destination
  • Base case cobalt smelter production, by product type
  • Forecast cobalt recovery at smelters
  • Cobalt contained in end-of-life (EOL) battery scrap
  • Cobalt recovery from recycling, by sector
  • Forecast cobalt recycling, by source
  • Forecast cobalt recycling capacity
  • Short-term cobalt price forecasts
  • Medium-term cobalt price forecasts
  • Long-term cobalt price forecasts
  • Cobalt demand outlook, by first use
  • Cobalt demand outlook, by end use
  • Cobalt demand outlook, by first use and product
  • Cobalt demand outlook, by product form
  • Forecast vehicle sales and BEV penetration
  • Forecast market share of battery cathodes in EVs
  • Forecast intensity of use of cobalt in electric vehicles
  • Forecast sales of portable electronics
  • Forecast market share of battery cathodes in portables devices
  • Forecast ESS installations by battery technology
  • Forecast market share of Li-ion battery cathodes in ESS
  • Forecast sales of power and motive devices
  • Forecast market share of Li-ion battery cathodes in power devices
  • Daily numbers of global commercial flights
  • Yearly net orders of Airbus and Boeing
  • Forecast commercial fleet and retired planes
  • Forecast value added of aerospace, by geography
  • Forecast electricity output, by source
  • Forecast cemented carbide demand versus BEV penetration
  • Forecast cemented carbide demand by sector and cobalt loading rates
  • Cobalt mine production, by source
  • Base case cobalt mine production, by region
  • Base case cobalt mine production, by primary metal
  • Base case cobalt mine production, by mining sector
  • Scenarios for cobalt supply from artisanal sources
  • African cobalt mine production
  • Asian cobalt mine production
  • European cobalt mine production
  • Oceania cobalt mine production
  • Cobalt mine production in the Americas
  • Refined cobalt production, by source
  • Base case refined cobalt production, by geography
  • Refined cobalt production and projects, by geography
  • Base case refined cobalt production, by product type
  • Refined cobalt production, by product type and source

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    Cobalt Market 2021 outlook to 2050

    PDF 3.23 MB