[ferro-alloys.com]Cobalt could be set to face another hurdle in the form of slowing smart phone sales, Canadian bank BMO said Tuesday.
Smartphones, tablets and laptops still account for the largest share of cobalt demand, which is forecast at 37% of total demand in 2019, the bank said. The main focus recently has been around content in electric vehicle battery technology.
"Apple's iPhone sales in China dropped 20% on year throughout the final quarter of 2018 as macro headwinds and the steady rise of domestic rivals saw Apple's market share slip from 12.9% to 11.5%," BMO said.
Merrill Lynch/Bank of America agreed, suggesting the metal could continue to come under price pressure as supply grows; with battery technology companies working ever harder at reducing the amount of the metal in their products.
Still, one senior battery manufacturing source said that for the time being the technology isn't available to completely remove cobalt from electric vehicle batteries.
Cobalt has been increasingly in focus owing to its continued price correction. According to Merrill Lynch/Bank of America it has seen the steepest price drop of all commodities over the past six months.
(S&P Global Platts)