London Metal Exchange moves further towards launch of lithium contract – by Pratima Desai (Reuters U.S. – July 18, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – The London Metal Exchange has asked companies that assess prices of battery-grade lithium to submit proposals to supply a reference for the cash-settled contracts it plans to launch next year, the exchange said.

Interest in battery metals such as cobalt, nickel and lithium has soared over the past year on the automotive industry’s ambitious plans to produce electric cars and cut noxious fumes from vehicles powered by fossil fuels.

“We have issued an RFP to a number of price reporting agencies,” a spokeswoman for the exchange said. “(We) aim to invite shortlisted candidates to present their proposals at the LME’s electric vehicle metals advisory group on 10 October to facilitate the participation of industry users in the selection of the global reference price for lithium.”

The Request for Proposal (RFP) sent out on Monday to firms that collect and publish prices of lithium compounds, including lithium carbonate and hydroxide, asks for a response by Sept. 17, sources familiar with the matter said.

“They want a dollar reference price for an international audience, not a domestic Chinese price for a contract to be launched (next year),” one source said.

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