Zambia’s cobalt exports slump 26 percent – report

Exports of cobalt from Zambia slowed down 26.4 percent last year compared to a year earlier as earnings rose, a report by the ministry of finance says.

The slowdown in exports is chiefly attributed to the slowdown in the economic growth of top mineral consumer, China last year compared to its intake in 2012, according to an economic report by the ministry.

Cobalt export volumes were 6,146 tons last year, recording 26.4 percent recorded a year earlier in which the country shipped 8,350 tons, it adds.

Accordingly, metal export earnings increased by nine percent to US$7,086 million from US$6,511 million in 2012, on account of an increase copper earnings.

“Cobalt export volumes at 6,146 tons were 26.4 percent lower than 8,350 tons in 2012. Similarly, the realized average price of cobalt, at US$23,634 a ton was 2.8 percent lower than US$24,325 per ton in 2012,” the report adds.

Cobalt earnings declined by 33 percent to US$145.3 million from US$216.5 million a year earlier on account of lower export volumes and the realized prices.

Copper export earnings at US$6941 million were 10.3 percent higher than US$6,294 million earned in 2012, driven chiefly by high export volumes.

“Copper export volumes at US$981,340 tons were 11.3 percent higher than 882,095 tons in 2012 while the realized average copper prices, however recorded marginal decline to US$7,073 per ton last year from US$7,135 a ton in 2012.” according to the report.

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