12th Rare Earth Summit

May 27-28, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

11th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 20-21, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

9th Magnesium Summit

April 15-16, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

13th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 25-26, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

7th World Antimony Forum

June 13-14, 2019
Changsha, Hunan, China

7th Refractory & Abrasive Materials Summit 2019

May 23-24, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

10th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 16-17, 2019
Zhengzhou, Henan, China

11th Rare Earth Summit

May 9-10, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

8th Magnesium Summit

April 11-12, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

12th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 14-15, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

6th World Manganese & Selenium Forum

May 21-22, 2018
Hainan Sanya, China

Interview with Nitul Shah, Chief Marketing Officer of Nicomet Industries Ltd.

Nitul Shah: A Brief Introduction to the Indian cobalt market
----Interview with Nitul Shah, Chief Marketing Officer of Nicomet Industries Ltd.
Asian Metal: Good morning, Mr Nitul Shah. Thanks for your time. Would you please give us a brief introduction to the general economic situation in India?
Nitul: Indian economic situation is very good. We will see a targeted growth of 9-10% for 2011.
Asian Metal: Mr Nitul, you seem to be very confident, but we have noticed that India had increased the interest rate for five times in 2010, and the sixth was taken into effect in early January. It is said that the government will raise the interest rate again in March. Do you think that will affect the general economy?
Nitul:The government is trying to curb the inflation because of the ranking prices for food and other commodities, but still there is strong demand overall. I don’t think that will affect much of the demand of cobalt in India.
Asian Metal: What about the situation facing the Indian cobalt industry?
Nitul: As for cobalt, the Indian industry is very small, but it is growing at a steady pace in various sectors, especially for aerospace.
Asian Metal: How do you think about the supply and demand situation in the current Indian cobalt market?
Nitul: Talking of demand, there is a big and a growing sector for cobalt in the aerospace industry, who are dependent on import cobalt. Other industries are growing at a consistence level but cannot be compared to China.
Asian Metal: What about the total consumption of cobalt in India?
Nitul: The total consumption could be 70-80t in minimum and 100t in maximum per month in terms of cobalt content. Cobalt sulfate is mostly used in chemical industries.
Asian Metal: We know that in China a big part of cobalt is used for producing lithium battery. What about the consumption structure in India?
Nitul: Paint, drier, magnets and toolings are four traditional sectors besides aerospace that use cobalt. In general, the demand from paint and drier industries tends to be stable while magnets and toolings sectors are seeing steadily increasing demand of cobalt.
Asian Metal: Mr Nitul, would you please tell us the general production situation, stock and operation situation for major producers?
Nitul:There are only two producers in India for cobalt metal and cobalt sulfate. Nicomet has an installed capacity to manufacture 900mt of cobalt annually , whatever is produced is sold out immediately, so finish stock inventory is nearly nil.
Asian Metal: How do you think about the demand of cobalt from downstream industries, such as chemical, magnets, super alloy and battery?
Nitul:Demand as already mentioned is growing at a steady pace, probably at 5% year on year. The demand from aerospace industry is particularly strong. As the local market is not big, we are selling 30% locally and 70% is being exported.
Asian Metal: It seems that cobalt is mostly used in those traditional sectors in India. Mr Nitul, how do you think about the new technology and product upgrading in Indian cobalt industry?
Nitul: Battery manufacturing is considered as a huge potential in India which shall give a boost to new technology and product upgrading. There has been no rechargeable battery manufacturer in India, but we hope to see new plants to be set up in the coming years.
Asian Metal: As we know, the consuming power in India is increasing quickly and more and more people would like to have a mobile, so many Chinese mobile makers and lithium battery manufacturers have been focusing on the Indian market recently. We believe the demand of cobalt in Inida will also increase quickly in the coming years.
Nitul: In order to meet the increasing demand, we will be increasing our capacity to 1,500mt from 900mt of cobalt in 2011.
Asian Metal: Will you have new products?
Nitul: New products under development are cobalt oxide, cobalt hydroxide and cobalt carbonate for battery and other sectors.
Asian Metal:Many producers in China also have the intention of expanding facilities this year, that is why the demand of raw materials is increasing steadily here. Do you have steady raw materials supply for expansion?
Nitul: We have signed yearly contract with steady suppliers, and cobalt concentrates are coming from DRC.
Asian Metal: What about the operation situation of Nicomet?
Nitul: Normally we are operating at full capacity. Other than cobalt, Nicomet is also manufacturing copper cathodes and nickel cathodes, and we are proud to announce that we are the first and the only one to manufacture nickel metal in India.
Asian Metal:What are your suggestions for those companies in cobalt industry?
Nitul:India lacks in manufacturers of battery where cobalt consumption is growing at a tremendous space. Battery manufacturing in India shall boost local production and shall also support towards new value added products.
Asian Metal:How do you predict the future market?
Nitul:As per our understanding we predict cobalt to be bearish in 2011, but it has a resistance at USD16/lb and hopefully shall not fall further, but average for the whole year shall remain USD 18/lb.
Asian Metal: Thank you very much for your time.
Nitul: Thanks.