Inflation Fueled by Demand or Supply?; Clean Energy Demand Buoys Cobalt

CME Group
Economic Research

Did Demand or Supply Lift Inflation?; Clean Energy Demand Buoys Cobalt

By Blu Putnam, Chief Economist
Erik Norland, Senior Economist
CME Group

Did Demand or Supply Fuel Inflation?
  • Supply and demand affected in unusual, atypical ways during pandemic
  • Demand impacted by relief payments, consumers’ shift to manufactured goods
  • Did relief payments through fiscal policy cause inflation to soar?
  • Shift in demand to manufactured goods exacerbated supply chain issues
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Demand Lifts Cobalt, Wild Swings in Prices
  • Cobalt prices rose in 2021 amid demand for electric vehicle battery storage
  • About 57% of all cobalt is used in batteries; other uses include making superalloys
  • Cobalt prices have been volatile, trading between $7 and $40 a pound
  • About 70% of the world’s cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo
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