Electric cars and 5G technology will battle for cobalt in coming years

LONDON (Reuters) – The need for larger rechargeable batteries and more energy storage for 5G technology is expected to significantly boost demand for cobalt over coming years and potentially pit the sector against electric vehicle makers. “5G will be a major source of cobalt demand in the years ahead,” said George Heppel, analyst CRU, which expects cobalt demand for portable devices to rise to 73,000 tonnes by 2025 from 45,000 tonnes this year. Cobalt demand estimates mostly vary between 100,000 and 130,000 tonnes for this year, doubling to between 200,000 and 260,000 tonnes in 2025. Analysts expect a balanced cobalt market this year and deficits from 2022 as sales of electric vehicles and 5G phones accelerate. “As the global transition to 5G technology gathers pace, growth in non-EV markets has significant potential to expand across two fronts: portables and energy storage systems,” analysts at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence said in a note.

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